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Do you know what you want your business to look like?

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"I don't even KNOW what I want anymore."

I think there's a way in which, as women, we often lose touch with our own preferences as we help/take care of those around it. It's a natural thing that can happen, especially if we're sensitive, empathetic, kind people--we just have that desire to help, and as high-achievers, we're capable of doing it, too!

And then when we start building businesses, often we're unclear on what goal we're aiming for, other than replacing our incomes and quitting our jobs.

The problem with focusing solely on this is that, while the money might be coming (which is, of course, awesome), since the feeling of being in the 9-5 is our default and what we're used to, we'll create that exact same feeling in our new business.

It's what I did in my first business, so while I was doing work I loved, work that replaced my income, the FEELING I had was that I had to be in it 24/7 and it was never enough--and I almost burned out and gave up on the whole thing (and if I had, Life With Passion wouldn't exist, because I'd probably be back unhappy in a 9-5, feeling like I'd failed at being an entrepreneur because I couldn't figure out how to grow and scale without abandoning the rest of my life.

The truth is, when you know what you want the business to FEEL like and how you want it to fit into your life, then that clarity helps you to create exactly THAT.

And of course, there's a bunch of work in the beginning to get that sustainable momentum, but when you know what you're building TOWARD (like working from home with your dog at your feet, or working at a coffee shop, or picking up and traveling, or working solely online, taking a full day off a week--whatever it is for YOU), and not just what you want to get away from (the 9-5 world), it's infinitely easier to create it.

So tell me, have you had a hard time figuring out what you want? Or do you know it exactly?

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What are you doing to move your business forward today?

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Do you find yourself putting off working on your business until you have a “good amount of time” to do it?

If you wait until you have a half-day on a weekend, a day off, a quiet day or even just an hour long chunk to work on your business when you’re not used to working longer periods of time on it, it’s like going to an advanced CrossFit class when your normal workout is walking to the mailbox. (I’ve been taking some time off from exercising lately--other than chasing Fi around--so my writing has become full of exercise metaphors instead).

You just don’t have the stamina for it yet.

So let go of that perfectionistic thinking, because it’s keeping you STUCK, my friend.

And instead, start small. Your brain might tell you (in fact, it probably will) that tiny progress, or that if it’s not “big,” or all the way done, or resulting in an $Xk month, then it doesn’t count. But that ain’t the way life or business-building works--it’s a black and white fallacy that it’s time to let go of.

So are you motivated ready to go out there and do 1 rep, knowing you’ll be “sore” in the best kind of way tomorrow (again, with the exercise reference, I know!!!!)?

Go do 1 thing you know would move your business forward like NOW (send an email, make a connection, reach out for help), in the next 5 minutes!

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Have you ever found yourself saying this?

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You know what I’ve been hearing a lot lately?

“I don’t have enough time to start/grow my business because of…”
💥My demanding job
💥My kids
💥My busy life

Have you ever found yourself saying any of these (and let’s be honest, we ALL have at one time or another), so the better question is...When’s the last time you found yourself saying or thinking one of these things?

What I find when working with busy high-achievers just like you, whether they’re in a 9-5 job or out, whether they are making a little or 6 figures, is this:

It’s usually NOT a time problem.

Yep, it’s true.

There’s a hack (or 2 or 3 ;) for that...if you’re willing to get a little bit uncomfortable. I’m not talking about going out and running a marathon uncomfortable (ain’t nobody got time for that--well, not me anyway), but I’m talking about the kind of uncomfortable that gets you to stop using that reason long enough to try something that could disprove it and stick with that until you implement and integrate it into your life.

Ready?

Here are some proven ways to kick that “I don’t have enough time” refrain out of your brain:

❤️Get up 5 minutes earlier (or stay up 5 minutes later) to do one tiny thing
❤️Use the 1st 5 minutes of your lunch break 
❤️Turn on your voice memo recorder on your commute to capture an idea or make yourself a reminder
❤️Add an extra 5 minutes onto your shower and use AquaNotes (https://amzn.to/2VVLuvB) to write a post idea or outline (in fact, the genesis for this whole series started as a 10-word Aquanote.

You only need to choose & use ONE of these to start making real, measurable progress toward building your business (instead of endlessly ruminating every day on how you SHOULD but finding yourself at the end of the day without having done it...again).

Which one are you going to try? Or have you already found one that works for YOU?

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YOU deserve to have a BUSINESS you LOVE. No settling.

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When I was working on launching my book and going through the design process for the cover, my mentor told me, "You deserve to have a cover you LOVE. No settling,"

YOU deserve to have a BUSINESS you LOVE. No settling.

One that pays the bills and allows for experiences that you dream about.

I was extremely scared of and uncomfortable with conflict for most of my life (can you imagine my dating relationships?), so it still feels unnatural for me to push back and say, "No, I want THIS," but it's such an opportunity for growth for me and going back and asking for another round on this cover was an awesome exercise.

There is NO shortage of opinions about the best way to start a business, and we see it constantly in as, shiny objects, webinars that make these huge promises, etc...

...but your job in all of it is to listen to yourself and ask, "What do I want?," and line up support to help you get there.

One of the things I do with my clients is to make sure to understand THEIR values and who THEY are, and then help them create from that place, rather than imposing my belief system or my structures and strategies on them--because we really are all designed with different strengths and desires for a reason!

How about you? When have you been in a position where someone thought they knew was best for your business, but you felt differently? Or what's your best tip for always showing up for yourself and what YOU want?

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If you are so ready to dive into the exact steps you need to get out of that soul-sucking job once and for all, grab my bestselling book where I lay it all out for you! The Income Replacement Formula: Seven Simple Steps To Doing What You Love And Making Six Figures From Anywhere is available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

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Freedom Friday Thoughts

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Freedom Friday Thoughts: Give yourself permission that where you are today is ENOUGH to make money in your business!

Little known fact: 3 years ago, I created my own website from a Squarespace template. And I am NOT a designer or coder in any sense of the words.

It's not the fanciest, but when populated with photos I love, it's been more than enough to build a six-figure business! Total investment: a few hundred dollars (photos + low monthly hosting cost).

I think sometimes we make ourselves feel really overwhelmed about creating a website, telling ourselves it's not good enough to put out there, endlessly tweaking our "About" page or our "Services" page (or any page, really!)

And this keeps us hiding out, and therefore, not making money, not replacing our incomes, not quitting or staying out of the 9-5 world as we desire.

I tell my clients that I want them selling packages and getting their own clients BEFORE setting up a website, and they do just that!

Why? Because they believe it's possible, AND because together, we get super-clear on their:
❤️niche
❤️messaging
❤️marketing strategy
❤️packages
❤️prices
❤️sales strategy that feels good and not gross/icky

All this makes connecting with their potential clients feel FUN and even easy!

Do you have a website? Or are you working on one or contemplating making one?

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Did I do my hair for this?!?

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Do you remember that country song, "Did I shave my legs for this?" My real life version is, "Did I do my hair for this?!?"

One day I had plans to meet in person with a major mover & shaker in the Louisville entrepreneur scene who I was excited to get to know better.

This required getting ready (hair + makeup), getting Fi up early and off to school, and blocking out the morning on my calendar, and an hour round trip--all of which, with 25 hours a week of child care and a full schedule of clients, is a big commitment for me.

I made it there early, got my tea, settled in, and then got a message from her that she'd forgotten to tell me she was out of town selling her products on QVC (told you, she's a big deal :)).

Now, I had a choice in that moment. I could have felt stressed over the lost hours that I could have used (for about one million things) OR I could choose to believe there was a reason it worked out this way.

Because of the mindset work I've done and the way I've transformed my thinking, I chose the latter.

I reminded myself, "Everything works out perfectly for me," I got back in the car, and I drove home, breathing deeply, enjoying the quiet, coming up with content ideas, and arriving home happy and joyful.

Now, this might seem like a trivial example, but it addresses one issue I think a lot of us feel as we're building businesses, especially on the side of a job--that we feel there's not enough time, and that time is out of our control.

The truth is, NOTHING HAS ANY MEANING EXCEPT THE MEANING YOU GIVE IT.

And that's SO so key to remember when the twists and turns of business-building happen (just as they do in life).

So think about the last thing that you were stressing over because it felt out of your control or didn't work out the way you were expecting.

How can you bring positive meaning to it, lighten your stress load, and move forward toward your income goals?

This is one of the things I LOVE to support my clients with! Do you have an example you'd like to get my help re-framing to a positive?

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Ready to learn the KEY strategic step you can take right now to ensure your passion-based business’ success? Get it for free in Chapter 1 of my #1 bestselling book, The Income Replacement Formula: Seven Simple Steps To Doing What You Love And Making Six Figures From Anywhere! Download it now.

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Podcast Feature: #090 Startup Pregnant with Sarah Kathleen Peck

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Sarah Kathleen Peck, my amazing friend and host of the fantastic podcast Startup Pregnant recently had me on her show to tell my story as it relates to motherhood, business, and entrepreneurship, the hallmarks of her show! Listen as I open up and share how I continue to find ways to make my business something that feels like a complete joy every day.

After you listen, please come back and let me know what you think! 

www.startuppregnant.com/christine-mcalister

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How do you choose to upgrade your language?

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"What comes out of your mouth comes into your life." -Jen Sincero

This is such a powerful way to convey a concept that makes replacing your income and quitting your job infinitely easier.

If you want to get more clients, make more money, and have more freedom, I'm willing to bet that there is at least one way you could upgrade your words in order to be more in line with those goals.

In my bestselling book, "The Income Replacement Formula," I give you a list of commonly used words and exactly what to upgrade them to, but here's one to get you started:

"CAN'T" becomes "CAN" or "I'M FIGURING IT OUT"

Jen's book "You Are A Badass At Making Money" is such a great complement to "The Income Replacement Formula," so if you haven't yet checked them out, I highly recommend you do! https://amzn.to/2LmcvTg

Now tell me, do you use the word CAN'T, or another unhelpful word that you want to get rid of? Need some help figuring out what to replace it with?

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Do you love personal development?

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Chances are good that if you're here, you love personal development--am I right? ME TOO.

Here's some GREAT news that will totally justify further purchases of all the self-help books or audiobooks your heart desires:

"One of the best things you can do to improve the world is to improve yourself." -Jen Sincero

Truth: "Hot" marketing strategies & platforms come and go, and that's ok, because they're only tools.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is, at its core, about getting clear and confident on:
✅Who YOU are
✅Who you serve
✅How you serve them
✅Selling stuff that makes you and them light up
✅Delivering & helping clients get results
...all with ease.

Which of these steps has you feeling stuck? Or which one comes easiest to you?

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How are you reflecting on your accomplishments?

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"What we perceive as failure may simply be our inner being's way of telling us that we are ready to move to a new level of growth." -Anne Wilson Schaef

As we kick off a new year and reflect on accomplishments and successes from 2018, it's likely (because of our brain's bias) that there are some things you wish were different, some goals you didn't hit, some things you may be categorizing as "failures."

Let's think about it like this:

  • What if your "failures" are preparing you for your true path and are just lessons on your journey?

  • What if they are laying the groundwork, a strong foundation for your growth in 2019?

  • What if they're stepping stones necessary to help you step into your true potential and live your real passion?

It might not be clear how these things are true right now, and I KNOW it can feel super confusing and frustrating in the midst of it, but what if everything really is happening FOR you rather than TO you?

How would believing that change your life?

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When you have someone to celebrate with you, cheer you on, and help you see the way, that's when everything starts to FINALLY happen.

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Today, I'm leading by example, so I'm pouring, raising and sharing virtual champagne to YOU.

I'm celebrating my clients who have:

  • launched new websites

  • created and shared new high-value freebies

  • launched their email lists,

  • grown their new Facebook groups,

  • broken through major fears, procrastination, and perfectionism

  • launched new Facebook pages

  • ended YEARS-LONG overwhelm about specific pieces of their business

  • shown up for themselves AND the good they're putting into the world by helping the people THEY are passionate about serving!!!!

I'm celebrating new clients deciding that NOW is their time to make their dreams happen, and breaking through the holding pattern they'd been in, realizing that it wasn't about waiting for something external to prove that they could get the support they needed (ex. "once I have XYZ, then I'll get support"), but owning that they, and their dreams, were worth it NOW, that getting support was actually THE THING that would get them the life, business, money and impact they were dreaming of, not the other way around.

I'm celebrating this beautiful community and each and every one of you in it.

The entrepreneurial journey CAN be lonely because most of the time, people in our "real lives" don't understand...but it doesn't HAVE to be lonely. That's what Life With Passion is about. That's why I do what I do with each of my clients.

When you have someone to celebrate with you, cheer you on, and help you see the way, that's when everything starts to FINALLY happen.

So CHEERS, ladies. CHEERS.

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Check out this Podcast Episode!

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Our very own Heather Huhman of Beat Infertility was so gracious to have me back on her podcast, and this time as guest host! Listen to the episode titled "Am I the Only One Who...?" as I interview Heather and hear the answers to listener questions such as:

  1. Am I the only one who doesn’t trust or has lost faith in my doctor?

  2. Am I the only one who has an unsupportive partner?

  3. Am I the only one who wants to use Facebook but not be triggered by it?

  4. What words of hope would you offer to someone who feels alone?

So much in this episode is for everyone, NOT JUST infertility warriors! Check it out, and let me know your biggest takeaway!

https://beatinfertility.co/am-i-the-only-one-who-part-1/

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How are you sharing your celebrations?

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Happy New Year's Eve!!

Over the holidays we've been talking about how to use CELEBRATING to grow your business!

Today, we're talking about how sharing your celebrations is validation and social proof to your future clients!!!

When you share a win like:

  • you just got a new client

  • an amazing testimonial from someone you helped (free or paid)

  • you just launched or updated your website or program

  • you are celebrating your first $1k, $2k, or $5k month

You're not only inspiring others with what's possible as we discussed yesterday, but you're also providing a tangible example, both to your own brain and also to the people who are watching and thinking about working with you, that your business is WORKING!

People buy from those they know, like, and trust. Social proof is an important part of this equation, meaning, your potential customers are seeing that others are trusting you, whether by investing their time in a free call with you, or on one of your products, or on your 6-month program--it ALL matters, it all adds up, because it makes it easier for them to trust you, too!

What "a-has" come to mind that you could be sharing and celebrating to provide validation and social proof in your business right now?

Or, what feels like a challenge to you about this? What resistance do you feel or questions do you have?

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Do you struggle to celebrate your accomplishments?

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Because I know you're a person who loves to help others, today, I'd like you to think about how you inspire others by celebrating (and sharing your celebrations!).

This is something I work with my clients on, because as high achievers, they all struggle with celebrating their accomplishments.

Here's the thing I tell them--It's NOT bragging for the sake of getting attention, because that's not who you are.

Instead, it's inspiring others with what's possible.  You know that if someone came to you and said, "Wow, I wish I could do that," you'd tell them that if you could do it, they can do it, right?

So by sharing your wins, you are being a source of inspiration to someone who's a few steps behind you, is feeling stuck, or is having a bad day.

Does that make sense?

Now, with that truth in mind, what win would you like to celebrate (and inspire others with!) today?

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What are your feelings around celebration?

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Let's think about how celebrating something makes you FEEL.

Happy, joyful, light, excited, grateful...right? Which in turn produces more joyful feelings, which leads to happy rather than forced action.

I think there's often a fear that if we celebrate something, we'll lose motivation to keep pushing or driving ourselves. Like we won't care anymore. BUT, as we learn to celebrate and to trust ourselves, we learn that that's just not true. We'll actually be more motivated to keep going in a way that feels GOOD instead of pressured, because we'll know that we reward ourselves along the way, rather than it never being enough.

So today, choose one thing you can do for yourself that would feel like a celebration to you.

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Do you celebrate your WINS?

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I hear from so many in my community who say it's hard to give yourself permission to celebrate your small (or big!) wins along the way.

Why is it important, anyway?

Simple: It's important because WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS.

So, for example, if you focus on the progress you're making in your business, marking your accomplishments with celebrations, it gets easier to make more progress.

If you focus on what you haven't yet achieved, believing it's not enough because it's not X, Y, or Z, you start to see more and more examples of what you haven't yet accomplished and it creates a cycle of discouragement, getting stuck and downward spiraling :).

Your brain takes what you give your attention to, makes a note that "Oh, this is important to her, let's notice more of that," and goes out to do just that. It's not all out there and "woo woo;" it's brain science.

So, what do you want your brain to find? If it's more good things, which will inspire you to take more good, business-building action, then celebrate your progress EVERY DAY!!!

For me, celebrating can look as small as throwing a shot of raw honey in my daily organic jasmine green tea, which I usually drink straight, or as fancy as planning a big trip--with lots of other examples in between. It's all about NOTING that this is a celebration and feeling good about showing up for yourself in that way.

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Do you prioritize FUN in your business?

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Ever feel like putting pressure on yourself to get things done in your business is the default?

So do many of my clients--and so did I.

Like we were talking about yesterday, I think there’s a way in which we just somehow assume that if we keep that pressure on and obsessively work on our businesses, they’re going to grow to exactly where we want them.

What if that’s not true?

As one of my clients said recently, “My default is putting pressure on myself, making work hard, and subconsciously telling myself the story that it’s never enough. How do I trust that taking care of myself, taking time off to enjoy my life is ACTUALLY the thing that’s going to get me clients? It feels so counterintuitive, even though I know in my head that when I do that, my business grows!”

And it used to be me as well, until I noticed a crazy trend--every time I detached and did something fun, I got a new client or my business grew in some other tangible way. 
Every single time.

It was like God was making it SO clear that I couldn’t ignore the trend--which, frankly, had to happen because I was so attached to massive action/hustle being the ONLY thing that was going to grow my business (even though it wasn’t growing at the rate I wanted) that I was completely out of balance and not even enjoying my life (and hello, my business and my brand are called Life With Passion for a reason--that’s MY deepest desire, too!).

So, after lots of resistance and reflection and support, I made a choice to begin to prioritize FUN and even self-care (which, I’ll admit, I had poo-poohed for a long time). I framed them as business-building tasks to help me actually DO them while I worked on believing that I was worthy and deserving of receiving them as a PERSON and not just to help me build my business (hey, whatever works, right? ;) ).

I’m going to tell you--prioritizing FUN and JOY is the closest thing to a magic business-building bullet I’ve found for me and for my clients.

Seriously.

And I’m also fully aware that if you’d told me this 3 years ago I would have rolled my eyes and said, “Onto the next (“tangible”) strategy!

Because here’s the thing I know to be true for me, for my clients, and probably for you, too:

If you know what strategic to-dos are on your list, and you have the support and accountability to carry it out, you’re going to do them already. Action is your default. You’re not going to STOP working on your business if you add in fun, too.
It’s the FUN that needs to be brought in to create a passion-filled life and business that you TRULY love--and that builds your business so fast it will take your breath away.

Does this seem crazy to you? Or have you found it to work? Looking for ways to integrate it into your daily or weekly routine?

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What exactly IS a life with passion, anyway?

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What exactly IS a life with passion, anyway?

Let’s start by defining what it’s NOT.

It’s NOT creating a business that requires more of you than anything else in your life. It’s not something where you’re working on your business all of the time (even if you love it), and don’t have time for anything else.

Instead, it’s about strategically building a business that supports the kind of LIFE you want to lead and the LIFESTYLE you want to have.

Example: I was talking to one of my 1:1 clients, about how she’s created a life that’s congruent with her values of prioritizing family FIRST, and that she’s designed her business to fit INTO that, not the other way around.

It’s given her the freedom to take time off to support an ailing family member, take more time for her children when they need her, and NOT beat herself up because she’s taking time away from her computer to do what matters most to her. (And guess what? As a bonus, even more opportunities are appearing to build her business in a way that feels good to her because she’s feeling clear, confident and congruent.)

Too often, when all we’re focused on is building the business or making as much money as possible as fast as possible, we high-achievers fall into the “hustle hard” message that gets preached SO often. Work more to make more. Just figure out how to manage your time better. Be more productive.

And I’m not saying that putting in the consistent work and being focused and productive aren’t important--they absolutely are--but this DOESN’T have to mean you need to go to bed at 2 a.m. and get up at 5 in order to create your dream life.

Instead, it means you get laser-focused on what kind of life you desire to create, and THEN you get strategic about how to build your business now in a way that feels aligned with your desires for how you want to feel as you’re doing it and when you reach the income goal you have in your head right now, whether that’s a $5k month, a $10k month, or a 6-figure year.

Have you found this to be true for you? Is this something you struggle with or have questions around?

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Are you willing to begin experiencing the everyday as miraculous?

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"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein

For most of my life I only considered huge or seemingly unattainable things (ex. winning the lottery) to be miracles, but now I've learned to think differently and it's made a HUGE difference in my level of happiness and success.

💞The colors our eyes see (a sunrise! the grass! evergreen trees!)
💞The sounds our ears hear (the nuances of my favorite song, running water)
💞The tastes our palates experience (I mean...dark chocolate with sea salt!)
💞The textures our fingers feel (a fleecy bathrobe, my favorite lotion)
💞The smells our noses breathe in (my magical essential oils, sauteéd garlic, white wine + lemon)

Are you willing to begin experiencing the everyday as miraculous? What about during the holiday season - is it easier or harder for you?

What's 1 miracle you can witness right now?

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Feeling desperate for clients and money?

I was talking with one of my clients recently about a trend that she was experiencing, and it was this:

When you get into a place of fear and desperation, that’s when things slow down.

When you get into a place of hope and faith and expectation, that’s when you get clients.

EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I can totally remember a time in my coaching business where I felt desperate for clients and money. It was super-stressful and I was anxious all the time. And guess what? That didn't help me get clients, in fact, it made it harder for me to get clients, because likely, they could smell my desperation when we'd chat on the phone!

You know what DID help me get clients with ease, even though it seemed totally counter-intuitive to me at the time? To relax. To enjoy. To journal, meditate, tap, and learn to trust rather than trying to control everrrryyyyyythinnggggg. To ask what would be the most FUN thing I could do to build my business, and give myself permission to just.do.that and believe that it would be enough.

Have you dipped your toe in the trust pool yet?

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