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The Practice That Skyrocketed My Productivity and Made Me (Almost) a Morning Person

All my life I've been a night owl. I love being out at night. I'd think nothing of taking off and driving an hour away to the ocean with my friends... at midnight.  I often volunteered to cover the night shift at the hospital. 

I just love being up and about at night when the rest of the world is asleep (or seems to be). I love the calm, peaceful quiet. 

I don't know if it has anything to do with being an introvert, and preferring quiet to crowds and chaos. But it's how I've always been.

Even now, my most productive work time is usually in the middle of the night. It's the best time for me to work on things that require concentration and focus. 

Screw the Early Bird

I always, unapologetically, roll my eyes when people say things like, "The early bird gets the worm." I don't actually believe that. I think we each... whether early bird, night owl, or something else... are most productive and function best when we listen to our own natural internal rhythms. And, if you really want to annoy me, try telling me exactly what to do to "become a morning person" like it's some kind of friggin crowning achievement. 

Why exactly do people think that morning people are better or more successful anyway? I disagree completely. 

Incidentally, according to surveys, entrepreneurs are pretty much split down the middle, with half being morning people and the other half night owls.

You want me to get up how early?

As you know, I've been through a lot with my dog, Niko. Well, at 16 years old, I'm just not sure how much longer I'm going to be blessed to have him. So after one of his health crises last year, we started a new morning routine because he now needs medications in the morning... and getting those down is easier said than done. 

But I've found a toasted PB&J usually does the trick rather nicely. So every morning we share a half PB&J... toasted so the crunch hides the pills I've tucked inside his pieces. And Mommy has her much-needed coffee. Did I mention I'm not a morning person?

I hang out in the living room with him while I enjoy my first coffee of the day, often sitting on the couch and having some "thinking time" because he likes to take an after-breakfast nap. Once I got used to his M.O., I'd often bring paper and a pencil down with me to do some work (yup... I do still love actually writing on paper).  

Taking It Seriously

A while back I stumbled across a beautiful purple quote graphic in my Facebook feed that really spoke to me, because I was struggling with some decisions at the time. I've since found the quote should be attributed to Katrina Mayer:

"Often the best gift you can give yourself is time alone, some time to ask your questions and listen quietly for answers."

Sometimes you discover just the right thing, at just the right time, and it hits you. My mornings haven't been the same since.

So many people extol the benefits of meditation. Well, I suck at it. I just don't seem to be able to quiet the chaos in my mind to accomplish being 'still' and 'present' with simply your breath and your inner self (hat tip to Debra Rock-Evans for the perfect description of the goal). The thought of starting my day with a centering exercise like meditation sounds wonderful, but it never materializes. 

That quote gave me an idea though. I started looking at that "thinking time" that I was getting every morning, from a different perspective. I started using it strategically... as writing time. 

It's perfect. It's quiet. I have a cup of coffee, sit on the couch in front of the bay window with the sun shining in, and I write. And it's wonderful.

I think I started sometime in November and I've accomplished more in these last few months than I probably have in the last couple of years!

I'm writing a book so most of the writing is for that. But I also use that time to write program materials and blog posts. And sometimes do strategic planning and work with sales funnels and product funnels. 

It's proven to be the perfect time to dedicate to working ON my business, instead of IN my business. And I LOVE it. I look forward to it everyday. 

Morning Person?

Nah. I won't go so far as to say that this has turned me into a bona fide morning person. After all, I'm sitting here writing this at 2am. That's typical. I've always been more of a wee-hours-of-the-morning person. I work in blocks of time, the last block being from around midnight until between 3 and 5am. 

But I'm looking forward to my writing time in the morning when Niko wakes me up around 9am.

Imagine. Me. Looking forward to getting up early (yes, when you go to bed at 5am, 9am is early)! And actually being super-productive. In the morning! Whoa.

It may not be meditation. But it's still a great way to start the day, feeling like you've accomplished something big.

Over to You

How about you? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have a favorite time to work? Tell me in the comments.

Much Success,

P.S. Do you have a dog who sniffs out even the tiniest pill? Here's my secret... I make a slice of toast, cut it in half, use natural peanut butter and Polaner Seedless Raspberry All Fruit Spread, act like it's mine and he's sharing my breakfast, sneak pills inside his pieces. Voila! Works every morning.

Share your thoughts...

Helping Creativepreneurs Answer the Question... To B-School or Not To B-School?

If you're an entrepreneur and you've been anywhere online lately... even your own inbox... you've probably been inundated with promotions for Marie Forleo's B-School. Honestly, even though I know it's coming every February, I still get tired of having B-School promos coming at me every which way. No offense to Marie Forleo. I think she's an amazing person and very savvy businesswoman. I mean, a large part of the reason B-School is everywhere every February can be attributed to marketing genius. I have a great deal of respect for her and all that she's accomplished. And I'm sure that B-School is an excellent program.

But... full disclosure... I'm not a B-Schooler. 

This used to bother me in a way. I felt like I was the only one in the damn world who had NOT done B-School. I came close to signing up a few times. But something always stopped me. I know enough about Marie Forleo to know that she knows her stuff, so it wasn't that. But there was "something." And I've learned to trust my intuition implicitly, so that "something" always kept me from clicking the Buy button.

One thing that bothers me is that it seems to produce an extraordinary number of Marie-wannabes, with similarly-styled websites, saying very similar things. I'm sure with all the hard work she's done to build her brand, that it's not her intention, but it happens nonetheless.


I've always been a bit rebellious; definitely not one to blindly follow the rules; and oh so not a follow-the-pack, cookie-cutter kinda girl. I like to do things my way. I'm different... and stubborn... and assertive. I'm ME! And I'm ok with that. And I want my business to express my unique personality. 

More importantly, I don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. It's just a fact... whether we're talking about online programs, medication, make-up, t-shirts, or even your morning coffee... one size just does not fit all. Something that works wonders for you, may not work at all for your BFF. That's just the way it goes. We all have to find what works for us. That's why there are so many variations of products and services to choose from in every imaginable market... and plenty of room for everyone. Choice is great. And you definitely have a lot to choose from when it comes to business programs, coaching and mentoring.

Maybe you're not quite sure if B-School is the perfect fit for you. Maybe you're hesitating because knowing that affiliates make a lot of money when people buy through them, makes you wonder if you're really getting an honest opinion. I'll admit the same thing crossed my mind, too. Unfortunately, I can't help you with that either, because I've never done it. However, the B-School website has tons of information to help you see if it's right for you and make an informed decision. (No, that's not an affiliate link.) Trust your instincts.

Is An Online Program Enough?

You may even be be wondering if you need to go to traditional Business School (also referred to as B-School). I'm here to emphatically tell you "No." You don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to go to a formal business school... unless you want to. I absolutely, positively did not want to. And I didn't.

I didn't start my own business because of a lifelong passion to do so. Even though now I wouldn't trade it for the world; it was done more out of necessity than by choice at first. Possibly because of how it happened, I approached online business differently than most creatives. I came at it strictly from a business perspective. The very first thing I did was make sure I understood exactly how the internet works; what that would mean for me as a business owner; and what I had to do or have for people to find me, and to succeed with an online business.

My entire education and background was in medicine. I had no business education at all. Zero. None. The thought of starting my own business never even crossed my mind until it became a necessity. And I had a lot to learn!! Luckily I'm a real DIYer and good at figuring out how things are made and done. (I get that from my Dad.) And, thanks to my parents, I also got an excellent education. So, even though I had no idea what I was doing, I knew how to find out what I needed to know, and how to learn. And learn I did. I've basically gotten myself a customized MBA. 

And so can you.

Today you can customize your own business education to exactly what you need for what you want to build and accomplish. And you can start your business, and start making money from it, as you go along. Then add to your education over time, as needs arise.

But you have to know what you need, where to find it, and who to trust. I've done that work for you. I did the trial and error... a lot of it! I got duped (rather expensively!!) when I started my journey. I got pissed off, got over it, moved forward, and found the right peeps... awesome peeps... to learn from.

I've invested considerable time, effort, and money to learn what I needed to learn. And, as my journey progresses, I continue to invest in my myself and my business to build the business and life I really want... for myself, for Niko, for my parents, and for my contractors and future employees.

There's a Revolution Happening. Will you be a part of it?

I'm disgusted with how most companies are run, with all the corporate greed and lack of ethics and integrity. I run my company the old-fashioned way... back when people and loyalty mattered, and it wasn't all about the bottom line. And I think the economy... and the world... would be much better off if more people did the same.

I strongly believe in lifestyle business, life on your terms, living life by design and taking control of your future.

I believe creativepreneurs are going to change the world and I want to work with those who are truly up to the challenge.

So I also have an option for you... or at least I will shortly... it will be revealed mid-March. So I think it's only fair to let you know that, in case it sounds like something more your style. 

You probably know that I've recently pivoted to focus on working with Creativepreneurs. I've also been hard at work for the last few months putting together amazing services to specifically meet your needs, and a new website that's worthy of you. 

One of those is the Creativepreneur </Catalyst> Lab. If you're a Creativepreneur building (or wanting to build) a lifestyle business that's uniquely and authentically YOU, and is the very essence of what success means to you, you're going to LOVE this!!

And if you're an introvert like me, it might appeal to you a lot more than joining thousands of clients in the B-School program and FB groups. Ours will be a much smaller, more intimate group.

You see, one commonality in everything I do... whether it's my handcrafted jewelry, coaching, consulting, or research... is customization. I love to offer custom, personalized, unique solutions. I enjoy getting to know my customers and clients, and being able to do truly special work with, or for, them.

My coaching is all focused on what success means to YOU specifically, and what YOUR perfect lifestyle business looks like. 

Success means different things to everyone. Yachts and million-dollar mansions may be some people's idea of success. For others it may be the freedom to do... and be... wherever they want, whenever they want. For many, it means spending more time with family and having the time to actually enjoy life. For you, it may mean a totally different combination of things.

And that's OK. It's YOUR version of success that matters. It's about living life on YOUR terms.

Abraham Lincoln famously said, "The best way to predict your future... is to create it."

I want to help you do that. 

I want to help you...
♥ Dream... BIG!
♥ Believe that if you can dream it, you can do it.
♥ Define what success means to YOU.
♥ Achieve it by planning out your unique path and taking action to make it happen.

One of the problems is all the "noise" out there. There's a shitload of information coming at us from every direction all day long, and no shortage of shiny objects to distract us. I get drawn in by them, too. I'm obsessed with online business, love learning all about it, and I'm infinitely curious, so it doesn't take much to catch my attention! 

It's no surprise that most entrepreneurs, especially creatives, get stuck on implementation. Between all that outside noise and the creative chaos that's constantly happening in our own heads, it's a miracle we get anything done! Yup, it's one of my biggest problems, too. In addition to being a multi-passionate creative, I suffer from short-term memory loss. So believe me when I say everything is a struggle. I'm just like you... overloaded with ideas and have lots of great ones, but struggle when it comes to getting those ideas out of my head, productized and available for sale. 

I built the Creativepreneur </Catalyst> Lab with that in mind.

Want the Inside Scoop?

I'll have all the details for you mid-March, but for now, here's a quick run-down of what I'm building, so you can get an idea how it compares to B-School and other options you may be considering.

The Creativepreneur </Catalyst> Lab requires an initial year-long commitment. It's not just about marketing. It's an all-inclusive, business-building lab experience designed for ambitious Creativepreneurs.

Success is not automatic and it doesn't come from listening or reading... it comes from DOING. And doing takes time. We've already discussed our common struggle with implementation. I'm really trying to make sure that the program and other lab content gets put to use so it can change your life. You need time to learn, implement, test, evaluate, improve and iterate. 

After the first year, you'll have the option to switch to a month-to-month membership, or you can renew for a full year and get 2 months free.

That said, here's how it's gonna roll...

Although there will be a lot of resources, and they'll continue to build over time, you'll be starting out with my Creativepreneur S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System™ program so you'll have guidance from Day 1, not just flounder around overwhelmed with all that's available to you. You'll follow the program and make use of extra resources if, when, and where you need them.

You'll have some prep modules, including one on Time Management, available to you right away. Then we'll be starting at Point A with a self-discovery and going all the way to the Point Z of replicating success. The journey will include things like finding your WHY (I'm kinda big on that), mindset work, setting you up for success, brainstorming, planning, executing your plan and evaluating outcomes. We'll be dealing with it all... branding, websites, SEO, marketing, etc. and using some other systems I've created like DREAMFIRE Master Planning™ and Multi-Faceted Monetization Models™.

And here's what it will look like and how we'll do it. You'll have...

              • Private Membership Site with your own personal coaching area
              • Creativepreneur S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System™ 7-Module Program
              • Monthly Masterclass 
              • 2 Coaching Calls every month
                       1 specifically for the Creativepreneur S.U.C.C.E.S.S. System™ program content
                       1 that will be open for any questions you have
              • Monthly Implementation Days
              • Weekly Accountability Module 
              • Private FB Group
              • Members-Only Forum
              • Mastermind and Accountability Opportunities 
              • Resources on any topic you could possibly need

There will be some pretty fantastic bonuses included as well to further aid your success, but I'm keeping those under wraps for now.

This first launch is a pilot program. In exchange for your commitment to complete the program, give me feedback (like helping me set the module release schedule by telling me how long you feel you need for each one), and a testimonial (if you feel I deserve it), you'll have the opportunity to get in for the lowest investment ever. The next time the Lab opens for enrollment, it will be considerably higher.

My passion is working with ambitious Creativepreneurs who want to build a lifestyle business. And I like getting down in the trenches, exploring opportunities, supporting you, and helping you navigate your journey, so this is hands-on help. You and I are co-creators in this process. That's what coaching is, really... a wonderful, collaborative effort that gives you the support, accountability and guidance to achieve the goals you set. 

It's not the kind of program where you're given the course materials, attend "coaching calls" that just regurgitate the materials back at you live, then you're more or less on your own to figure out how to apply them to your business. This is a Lab. It's a hands-on, interactive 12 months of working on your business. I'm not an absentee coach. I roll up my sleeves and get right in there with you. I'll be actively participating in the FB group. I'll be answering your questions on the calls.

I don't run group programs to be less involved with my clients. I do it because it allows me to help more people. And I have an awesome coaching portal. So, even when you're in a group program, you have a private coaching area that creates a safe environment for you to explore possibilities and work out problems with me, separate from the group and more secure than email. I think this plays an integral part in the success that can be achieved when working with a coach. 

Wanna Change the World? I Do!

I truly believe Creativepreneurs have the ideas and the power to change the world… one business at a time. I'm creating the environment, tools, and resources we need to do it.

Please rest assured that my goal with the Creativepreneur </Catalyst> Lab is not to make you a coach. That's not the only, or the most important, way to change the world. You change the world with whatever gifts, talents and passions you've been given and by doing what you know in your heart you were put on this earth to do.

I'm a coach because I have over 30 years of teaching, coaching and mentoring experience... 32 to be exact. I've done this across a number of industries and organizations, and I'm damn good at it. 

You need to choose what (or what combination of things) you want to do. And whether that's a service business, a product/retail business, or a combination of the two (which, as you can see, is what I do), I've gotcha covered.

You may also decide that B-School, or another program, is the best option for you. If so, great! I totally support you. I want you to do what feels right to you. 

I want you to be successful and blissfully happy. And you need to work with the coach you feel can help you accomplish that.

Besides, you can still come visit. You're always welcome here.

Much Success,

Share your thoughts...

Business is NOT a 4-Letter Word

You're probably wondering just where the hell I've been. The last post I published was called The Danger in Being Passionate About Your Work and it was about burnout. I had a severe case of it and, when I wrote that, thought I was headed for recovery. I was wrong. Turned out to be one hell of a year.

So I needed to take some time; to really look at that; evaluate the situation; and be real about why it happened. That involved a lot of hard truths. I had to have some really painful heart-to-hearts with myself. 

I had to sit my ass down and, like it or not, admit that working with artisans, just was not working out. As a matter of fact, it was frustrating me to bits, completely draining my energy, and was the main contributing factor to the burnout.

A whole lot of soul searching and difficult decisions were made. I want to share them with you because they affect you. You've probably already noticed some of them. 

For starters, I had to accept defeat and let go of the artisan organization and plans for a 100% handmade marketplace that I mentioned in the Burnout post. Unfortunately, the overall plan didn't gain traction and was turning into a lot of wasted time and money on my part. I knew the plan was sound, so I needed to let go of the project. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 

I still love artisans and their work. I still love coaching artisans... and work beautifully with some of you. Some of you are the perfect clients for me to work with. And I've enjoyed seeing your progress.

But, unfortunately, that's not typically the case. I usually end up feeling like I'm banging my head up against the wall. It makes me CRAZY when I spend valuable time working with a client and getting results (it does take a bit of time!), just to have them turn around and go right back to doing exactly what we agreed WASN'T working before! Not only does that negate any progress we made, but it wastes a whole lot of time and effort. 

Similarly, there's been a scramble since Facebook essentially killed organic reach (was announced last fall). However, I've been talking about this... and solutions for it... for FOUR years! But most didn't want to listen... or take proper action. Now businesses are being lost. It's frustrating to watch.

But too many are content to whine and set up Facebook groups that end up being nothing more than a perpetual pity party. Fine if that's what you want to do. But it's not going to change anything. You're complaining to the wrong people... to people who can't do a damn thing to change it. YOU are the only one who can change things for yourself.

Life isn't always fair unfortunately. But it IS about choices. You can either choose to stay where you are, or to change. Accept responsibility for where you're at. Forgive yourself for it. Stop complaining. Stop hanging out with complainers. And create the life you really want to have! It CAN be done. And I want to work with those who are ready to do it.

So I've created the niche I want to work in... creativepreneurs

You'll see soon that I have a pretty broad definition of what a creativepreneur is, and it includes many industries. 

The important thing to note is that my focus is on the -preneur part. I want to work with creatives who have, or want to have, a business and are willing to learn and do the work required to succeed. 

I want to focus my energy on those of you who are serious about your business; the implementers and action-takers; the real go-getters among you; those of you who are ready to kick ass, take names and change the world. So now I'm also much more selective about who I'll accept for one-on-one coaching.

I'm looking for creatives who are willing to get down and dirty and do the work, because I want to see you have major breakthroughs, reach your goals and be wildly successful.

Success means different things to everyone. I want to get to know you, my true Creativepreneur peeps, and learn what success means to YOU. So I can help you achieve it.

And you CAN.

Because you know business is not a 4-letter word.

You know that you need to get your ass out of your workshop and do business-generating activities if you want to have a successful business... and you're brave enough to put yourself out there!

You also know that sales and marketing don't have to make you feel icky. (And if you don't, let's talk about that.)

Honestly, I enjoy business stuff. I truly am The Online Business Passionista. I LOVE online business and the possibilities it holds for anyone willing to embrace it.

I don't require that you love it. But if you're not willing to learn business, you WILL NOT find the success you seek. Because even though you don't have to like business, you do have to do business.

Over to you. All of this is for you. So talk to me. I'm listening. What do you need? What does success look like to you? Tell me in the comments below.

Much Success,

Share your thoughts...

The Danger in Being Passionate About Your Work

by Debi Auger

I was driving home from an appointment the other day, listening to music, happily singing along to Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)." (I love that song and I was alone so not torturing anyone, LOL.) It was inspirational and uplifting actually, as I was sitting there thinking 'God I hope she's right!'... because dammit I'm lucky 2013 didn't kill me.

You see, there's an inherent danger in being passionate about what you do. It's called burnout. And it will kick your ass worse than an MMA champ in a title fight. Trust me.

You know I'm a multi-passionate entrepreneur and, rather than choose between (among??) them, I indulge and manage them. I'm a total Type-A, obsessively organized person so it works... at least until something gets knocked wildly out of balance and then, well... not so much. And that's exactly what happened back in October.

I'm super-passionate about my work with creative entrepreneurs and there's a special place in my heart for artisans. I am one. I'm the owner and designer at Designs by Debi. As part of that work and my work here, I've spent the last 9 years or so watching online handmade venues with interest.

Someone Else's Mistake Can Be Your Opportunity

The fact that they all seem to follow the same path, venturing down the slippery slope of allowing non-handmade categories (vintage and supplies usually), is a pet peeve of mine. So, for many years now, I've wanted to start an organization and marketplace. But it never seemed feasible... until October when Etsy released their new guidelines and ignited a firestorm in the handmade community. (Not giving them the benefit of links from this blog. Sorry. If you haven't already seen/heard about it, just Google "new etsy guidelines".)

I had noticed the changes going on at Etsy, but even I was shocked that they were now openly allowing... right in their guidelines... exactly what sellers have been complaining about for years! I actually thought it was a joke when I first saw it. And, once I saw it wasn't, I was livid that a company that made its name as "The place to buy and sell handmade" was now selling out the artisans who rely on them and built them into who they are! Wow.

Long story short (more will come in later posts, I promise), it was time. Now there was a legitimate need for what I had been wanting to do all these years. 

Some people go into "holiday slow mode" and take it a bit easy at the end of the year. Then there are those who consider it a challenge to see just how much they can get done before year end. Two guesses what group I fall into.

And I'd have to add that to an already-full plate, topped off by the fact that we were heading into the holiday season. If you're an artisan, you know what chaos that brings... trying to balance wish lists, get-togethers with family and friends, and your own holiday shopping (yeah, right!) all during your business's craziest time of the year! It can exhaust even the strongest among us!

But I was passionate about this.

I wanted to do this.

I've been waiting YEARS to do this.

So I did it. I took it on. 

Don't get me wrong, I am blissfully excited about this. It's been a dream for a long time. However, it involves an incredible amount of time and work. But I was off and running... grabbed all the notes I'd been making over the years, put things in motion, got a focus group going, decided to start the organization first as a movement to run a marketplace from, designed the branding, built a website... and on... and on... and on...

And THAT is one of the ways being passionate about your work can kill you. 

You love your work so much and you're so excited about the many (hundreds??) of projects you're working on, you don't even notice the symptoms. There are so many things you want to do. You think you're Wonder Woman. You think you can do it all. You work umpteen hours a day, burn the candle at both ends (maybe sometimes even in the middle!), you sacrifice self-care for more work hours and then...

you CRASH. 


And that's exactly what happened to me. Once the holidays were over, I was exhausted beyond words. So I decided to lighten the load by limiting the amount of input I was getting blasted with on a daily basis. I went on a "digital diet" from January 1st - 6th so I could focus on my work and plans for the year.

It was too late.

It didn't help.

As days went on, the exhaustion expanded and I completely crashed. Burnout came in a take-no-prisoners kinda way and steamrolled right over me. I got so sick, I spent most of the rest of January in bed. I probably should've been in the hospital. But then I wouldn't have been able to work (EEK!!). Yes, ignore the fact that that should've been the whole point.

I'm certainly not perfect. I push the boundaries of entrepreneurship... and myself... to the extreme sometimes. I should know better so it's embarrassing in a way. This time I let people down. I didn't show up for things. I didn't meet deadlines. Most of them were self-imposed, but it doesn't matter. It killed me inside. 

And that made the problem worse.

Then I read a post by Chris Ducker about his own recent battle with burnout, and, admittedly it helped me to know that someone I look up to had just went through the same thing... it helped me stop beating myself up for "letting it happen." I was so impressed with his transparency and the fact that he cared enough about his readers to share this in hopes it would help us, that I wanted to do the same for you; to write about my experience. 

But I couldn't seem to get anything done. I'd sit at the computer, but nothing would get accomplished. I'd just stare at the screen, depleted of energy, completely lacking ambition, and totally worthless. Then I'd fall asleep... sitting up!  

And, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, all this was compounded by the deaths of two close family friends, and a medical emergency with my dog during which I almost lost him, too! 

Honestly, by the end of March I was wiped out. I could barely see the light at the top of the chasm I had fallen into. It's like I've been on a non-stop, 6-month roller-coaster ride and I'm only now... finally... starting to feel noticeably better. And we're in MAY. I've lost almost 5 months of the year for God's sake! 

So, as embarrassing... and humbling... as it may be to publish this post, I'm doing it because:
• I'm hoping you can learn from my mistakes
• If it has happened... or is happening... to you, I don't want you to be embarrassed or feel alone, and
• If it happens to you in the future, you'll know where you can find someone who understands.

An Ounce of Prevention...

I sincerely hope it never happens to you so let's look at some ways to prevent it and to recover from it (just in case... better safe than sorry). And I'll share some mistakes I've made, lessons learned and things I'm trying.

Here's a great infographic by TheSimpleDollar.com with ways to avoid burnout:

Six Ways to Avoid Burnout

Let's Set Some Goals

I'm a work in progress and I make a lot of mistakes. But that's all part of learning and figuring it out, right? Here are some things I know I need to work on to prevent this from happening again.

1. Take time off and time to take care of myself
I had started taking Sundays off, a "free day" to do fun stuff. Of course, that was the first thing to go when I took on all these projects. 

  I've started getting back to that.

Self-care also suffered a lot... I wasn't getting anywhere near enough sleep. Health concerns went ignored. Exercise stopped.

✔ Three long-overdue doctors appointments taken care of last week. 

 Weather is getting nicer so Niko and I can start walking again.

 DIY'd my Incline Trainer into a treadmill desk (more likely to walk longer if I can work at the same time).

Pretty much anything that took time away from work suffered (except for Niko bless his heart and thank goodness I have him).

We all need to take time to show ourselves some love and refill our cup. Learning that, by doing this, I can show up even better for my clients gives me the incentive I need.

2. Say NO more often... and don't feel guilty.
This is waaaaaaaay tricky for me, especially when things are being asked by people I like, or I'm really passionate about the issue/need in question. So I need A LOT of help with this. 

✔ Have my goals and plans for the year, and help to say 'no' to the things that don't align with them.

Here are some great articles that I found useful in case you have the same problem:

3. Stop trying to do everything myself
I did everything myself (except for having an accountant) for way too long. I realized I just couldn't anymore. Not only is my health at risk if I continue this way, but I have goals for a 7-figure business and I just cannot grow my business any more without bringing more help on board. 

Since the fall, I've added 2 people to my team... 
✔ a bookkeeper  
and a Virtual Assistant. 
And I'll be adding more soon. (Better late than never.)

I want to give a shout out and big thank you to Chris Ducker for essentially creating a step-by-step guide for outsourcing with his book "Virtual Freedom" that came out in April. It's getting put to good use.

Business Review

In light of those 3 new priorities, I've also been making changes in my business. I've had to accept the fact that I can't do every single thing I want to do... at least not right now; especially since I have a bad habit of trying to do them all at once. 

So I've been re-evaluating everything; deciding which things will move forward now; which things will wait; and which ones just won't be getting done at all. It's not easy, there have been some tough choices to make. But thankfully I'm still here to make them ;-)

More Help...

To help us in our endeavor to keep burnout at bay, I started a Pinterest board with resources to avoid and recover from burnout.

The book "High-Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout" by Sherrie Bourg Carter has been put at the top of my read-ASAP list.

...and a Bit of Serendipity

And I have one more for you!! I hopped onto Facebook to quickly share a resource with one of my groups this morning before publishing this post and I was met with this beautiful image from my friend Carey at the top of my newsfeed:

© Carey Kingsbury - used with permission

Some of you may recognize Carey's name because she's one of the health referrals I give to my clients when we discuss self-care for entrepreneurs (because as you can see that is not my specialty).

Have you ever read the book "When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You By the Power of Coincidence" by Squire Rushnell? Personally, I'm in agreement with Gibbs' Rule #39: There's no such thing as coincidence. But I'm extremely intuitive and I trust that implicitly. And I've learned to watch out for these "coincidences" even more so after reading that book.

In light of that, I'm taking part in Carey's Joy Cleanse because it sounds like just what I need to reset myself after this ordeal. I'm sharing it with you because maybe you're exhausted, frustrated and mucked up with pain and lack of energy, too.

It appealed to me because it's not just a cleanse of the body like you normally hear about; it also targets your mindset and helps you get your mind, body and soul back into alignment. Quoted from Carey's site: "It's a fifteen day guided cleanse (5 days eating + juicing, 5 days juicing, 5 days eating + juicing) designed to raise your alkalinity, give your body the nutrition it craves, and clear out the gunk in your body and mind so that your soul can come out to play!"

I LOVE that... "so that your soul can come out to play!" I think it sounds perfect for me right now and a great way to start fresh and prepare to deliver all the greatness I have planned for you this year. Wanna join us? Have a look and see if it's right for you. (and no, that's not an affiliate link... just sharing what I'm trying to get myself back on track in hopes it could help you, too ;-) )

How About You?

Have you ever experienced burnout? What do you do to prevent it or to recover from it? Share in the comments below and we can help each other.

Much Success,

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