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Friday FUN day!!

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It's Friday and I want to do something a little more FUN today… are you game?!

When I was a guest on the super popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire, the host John Lee Dumas engaged me in something he always does - a “lightning round” style of interviewing.

After talking more in-depth about some topics, this is a fun, quick way to hit some highlights about the episode’s guest. The point is to ANSWER quickly! So, I’ll drop the questions and my answers below… can you answer the same questions in the comments, QUICKLY? That’s the point, don’t belabor it, overthink it, drag it out or go on too long. Quick answers are the name of the game!

Ready, here we go!...

What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – Fear
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Done is better than perfect”
What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – Journaling
Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Freshbooks
If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – The Big Leap, because it was the first time that I felt someone got me.

YOUR TURN! Aaaand go!

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Are you listening to your calling, your desires, or your fear?

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The following is taken from my interview with John Lee Dumas on the popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. https://www.eofire.com/podcast/christinemcalister

JLD: You’ve said that 70% of your clients quit their 9-5s. What’s a commonality you see with that 70% that’s achieving that lifestyle and freedom? What about the 30% who don’t quit? Why do you think that 3 out of every 10 women are failing even though you’re giving them that path to greatness?

Christine McAlister: “As for the 30%, sometimes it’s a longer journey for some. It’s a choice as to which side we’re going to listen to. Our calling, our deep desires, or our fear.

Honestly I do I think it has to do with holding themselves back, I think there’s a big fear of visibility (JLD: Like public failure?) Yes, putting yourself out there and being “that person.” If I share my story people are going to think I’m annoying or attention seeking. So I’m afraid to decide on one particular idea and go with because what if I choose wrong, what if people judge or criticize me and that crushes me, what if I fail?

For the 70% - the ones who succeed in quitting their 9-5s - it’s a willingness to show up every day. I really believe you can build a business from the ground up with 5 mins a day of client-getting, income-producing activities. We spend too much time in our heads following the what ifs and wondering which plan to follow.

I think the 70% are the women who show up for themselves, who want to invest in getting help, and commit to show up for that help and do something every day--even when they don’t feel like it.”

If you’ve quit your 9-5, what do you think was the driving factor behind it? If you haven’t (yet!), what do you feel is holding you back?

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What a-ha moment have you had in your entrepreneurial journey?

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The following is taken from my interview with John Lee Dumas on the popular podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. https://www.eofire.com/podcast/christinemcalister

JLD: What was one of those a-ha moments you had and how did you turn that idea into a success?

Christine McAlister: “One of the things I realized as I began to pick up the pieces of my life after my daughter died, is that I was running a successful online marketing biz, but I knew it wasn’t the thing that I REALLY wanted to do. I knew there was another level--a step up to do more that was aligned with my true self. Now, with losing Maeve, the worst thing had happened to me. So, in turn, I wasn’t scared anymore of what people thought.

I found someone who was doing something that I thought was great - who was in the position with money, freedom and success that I wanted - so I hired her to help me figure out what that thing was for me.

As she mentored me, I realized that all along I’d been trying to talk my family and friends into being entrepreneurs--whether they had ANY desire to actually be entrepreneurs--because I thought that was the path for EVERYONE. It’s my calling, it’s obviously yours, too.

So with the help of my mentor, I realized who I could help. Women who had been stuck in the same position that I had been in. Drained in a 9-5 that I wanted out of. I wanted to take a stand for THAT woman, the one who was just like me. I made a choice to let go of the consistent income I’d been making in my online marketing business and I started small, working 1:1, seeing results and starting to build a community.”

What a-ha moment have you had in your entrepreneurial journey?

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Do you have a "Confidence Resume"?

Building your confidence can be as simple as working on it 5 minutes a day.

The people who do the exercise I am going to share with you see a change in income and outlook very quickly.

However, way more people don’t do it and continue to suffer from lack of confidence and significant self-doubt.

You don’t need an hour or two set aside to do this. Start today with just 5 minutes:

Begin writing what I call a Confidence Resume.

Have you looked inward on the things you’ve accomplished AND survived (because both are important and often intertwined)?

I have a template for this inside Know Your Niche (https://lifewithpassion.lpages.co/know-your-niche-sales/), and also some prompts you can get started with in the book (https://amzn.to/2LmcvTg).

Or just start on your own!!

It’s about remembering ALL.THE. STUFF. you’ve done and been through instead of minimizing it because you’re uncomfortable for whatever reason.

KEY TAKEAWAY: We all have things to be proud of. If you write that down and read it every day it will change your life and your business. Because you WILL show up in a different way as a confident person who believes they can help others.

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“Action relieves anxiety.”

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Memorize this phrase: “Action relieves anxiety.”

If we’re feeling self-doubt about something we want to accomplish, it feels too daunting.

The truth is, the actual figuring it out isn’t that hard, it’s the overwhelming nature of what it means to do that.

What this means is: YOU'RE VERY CAPABLE.

So it’s likely that literally sitting down and writing a Facebook post is not the challenge for you. The hard part is thinking about it and worrying about doing it perfectly.

How do we minimize that chatter in our head?

Set a timer on your phone for 5 minutes and make yourself write a post in 5 minutes. Good or bad. Just get something out there and break the ice.

You will find that your action relieves anxiety. And you take the confidence and put into moving forward.

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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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One KEY TAKEAWAY to solving that key business strategy problem.

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Remember how much I like lists and strategy? 

When we like to check things off a list, we prioritize our days around what we can check off. So working on our confidence - intentionally - gets pushed to the bottom of the list because it’s not very TANGIBLE.

But let me ask you this, is there something tangible on that to do list of yours that you keep putting off - because it’s uncomfortable? That you know deep down, could help you build your business?

If you’re not booking clients, there’s very likely something you KNOW you’re supposed to be doing, but you’re not because you are scared, overwhelmed, or doubting yourself. 

KEY TAKEAWAY: If you prioritize working out that confidence muscle, then you very well might be solving that key business strategy problem that you have.

And it will make EVERYTHING else in your business easier.

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Are you sold on yourself?

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First be sold on yourself.

Some people are trying to sell things for validation. “If you don’t buy my thing, then I’m not worth it.”

I didn’t hear back from my first submission to the Huffington Post and I went to the extreme saying, “I’m never pitching again!

We’ve all probably felt that... but is that a recurring theme for you?

Here’s what I know, and, now, this is where I START from:

- I know I am a damn good coach.

- I know how I show up for my clients

- I know the results they get

- I know what I provide...

...And I believe in it.

Instead of saying, “I’m going to put this out there and I hope people buy it because that will tell me that was the right thing for me to do.”

Rather, I’m going to keep showing up because I believe that what I have to offer is worthwhile.

Do YOU believe it?

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Where is the lack of confidence showing up in your life

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Where is the lack of confidence showing up in your life?

For me, when I was starting Life With Passion, it showed up in fear of visibility. I didn’t want to share with my current circles what I was doing. I didn’t want to keep posting about it, because I didn’t want to be one of those people. I didn’t want to appear pushy or WEIRD.

Respecting people’s privacy, and maintaining mine (ie the wall I had up about being openly vulnerable), was a long held mindset of mine, which held me back.

I wrestled with fear of failure or perceived rejection.

I struggled to think of myself as the expert, as someone who could help others get results.

Most people want to avoid discomfort. It’s human nature. And that becomes a habit. And that habit leads to self-sabotage.

Have you been letting lack of confidence self-sabotage your forward momentum in building your business?

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How strong is your confidence muscle?

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It is not a fatal flaw that you are not more confident.

If confidence is a muscle that we can grow, as we talked about yesterday, then you need to accept that lack of confidence is not your fatal flaw. It’s also no longer your EXCUSE.

🗬 “Well, I can’t do that because I’m just not confident like you are, Christine.”

Do you think I appear naturally confident? In high school I was the NICE kid. I was a nerd.  I was the kid who everyone wrote in my yearbook, “Thanks so much for helping with my homework!” (terrible quality picture provided as proof)

I would look around at my friends, and friends of friends, who were getting all the guys, who had so much confidence, and I would fixate on what they had and what I didn’t.

I didn’t know that it could be developed! Now I do.

If I’m a runner and I smoke, then I need to first acknowledge that my performance is affected by my smoking. And know that if I quit (which will be HARD!), my lungs will improve and so will my running.

If I just say, well I’m going to keep smoking, but I’m going to do more XYZ training, then I’m ignoring the really big elephant in the room - the true problem that I need to address if I want to get faster and better.

Smoking is a PROBLEM for a runner, but it’s not a fatal flaw. It’s fixable if it's acknowledged and addressed.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Lack of confidence wasn’t my fatal flaw and it’s not yours either. Are you ready to kick that excuse to the curb?

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Confidence is a learned skill.

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If you are a high achiever who struggles with self-doubt -- and I’ve never met a high achiever who doesn’t! -- if you’re scared of putting yourself out there, if you don’t know what to charge, if you’re procrastinating on things... then you have a confidence issue to solve! 

The first thing you need to understand before we move forward is that confidence is a LEARNED SKILL.

It’s not something you’re inherently born with or not. Like you’re stuck for the rest of your life with whatever your genes predetermined - confident or not confident.

Like what color your eyes are. 

Nope. Not genetic. Not predetermined. And introverted does NOT equal lack of confidence.

(Did you catch that, my fellow introverts??)

Confidence is a muscle, and it’s one you can grow daily. 

We're going to get into HOW to do that this week. But first, do you believe that?

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Consistency is KEY!

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This spring I got to be part of an amazing mastermind weekend in Kansas City. The core group was made of entrepreneurs with young kids and online businesses--and we all fell on various points of the spectrum of experience and success.

Let me tell you about three different women I noticed and a common thread in their story.

Entrepreneur #1 Still side-hustling but has been super consistent in a couple of places and people know her as the one to go to in their niche. Very clear on who she serves and being consistent with that. Doesn’t have a big brand, no website, no list yet. Consistent in a few places that felt good for her.

Entrepreneur #2 She had built a successful business and then went through a tough year in life, and fell away in consistency. Had a podcast, newsletter, etc. Now that she's coming back to their business, she is going to have to rebuild it. It was solid, but a lack of consistency over that year was a major hit.

Entrepreneur #3 Has been super consistent in really simple ways. She knows her lane and what she's good at and she shows up. She shows up every week and does that one thing. she's on track to make 7 figures this year.

The ONE factor, the common theme, that determined their success - or lack thereof - above all, was how consistent they were with their content.

And this is why I preach it over and over again: Get clear on who you're serving and how, and do what you have to do to solve the overwhelm, so that you can stay consistent.

This is your keystone, my friend.

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What does "providing value" mean to you?

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Everyone says “You just have to get out there and provide value.”

Isn’t that so elusive?? It kind of annoys me, right?!

How do we define value and isn’t it so relative anyways?

Sometimes you want to laugh,

Or build community,

Or learn something important to your business-building

To me, if you can provide multiple different ways that you inspire, motivate, encourage and/or teach people (that’s value!)--then there will be a percentage that will want to go to the next level with you.

And stop worrying about “giving all your value away.” You can teach people your entire proprietary process and there will be people who will say,

“Wow, I need to work with her 1:1, I need her hands, eyes, and brains on my business and in my life!” and

“Working with her will speed up my timeline and fast-track my results.”

So tell me, what does value mean to you?

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“I put a post out there and nobody commented and only one person liked it.”

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“I put a post out there and nobody commented and only one person liked it.”

I don’t want you to put so much pressure on yourself that every time you write a post, it feels heavy and hard.

Like “the success of my business depends on it!!”

Or a lack of engagement leads you to throw in the towel, “That’s it, nobody likes me!”

Deep breaths, friend. Stay consistent and visible. This is a long game.

Once you pick a platform - one that you like, where you feel comfortable and like hanging out - set a date on your calendar for 90 days from when you start. Then do not judge the effectiveness of that strategy until those 90 days are up.

Are you game?

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Do you know what your people are struggling with and what they want?

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I’m begging you, ladies: please don’t just throw out random engagement questions (unless it’s YOUR private Facebook group).

Those can be fun and have a place, for SURE, but “What did you have for breakfast today?” does not help those who are reading it to know you, your expertise, or your offering AT ALL.

As you work on your content, remember what they need to hear: who you serve, how you serve them, and what do they need to know that’s going to help them.

Even if you’re not exactly pitching your offer every time (and you shouldn’t be), these subtle themes should run through your posts.

This is why you need to know your niche. How can you create the above content if you don’t know who EXACTLY you’re talking to? Do you know what your people are struggling with and what they want?

Answering these questions informs your offer and informs the content you write and what you talk about in groups, on Insta, or in your livestreams.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Keep your key questions in front of you as you write. Before you know it, working that into your content will become second nature.

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You don’t HAVE to batch create your content.

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You don’t HAVE to batch create your content.

The advice to batch your content is everywhere! I’ve given it many times!

And for good reason. Sitting down with a block of time to knock out a bunch of content at once is a huge asset to a lot of people. But it can be totally overwhelming to some, causing procrastination and then seriously affecting your consistency (--which is king ).

“I just need a half day to knock out my website”

“I just need a couple of hours to create a few months worth of content, so I’m going to just wait until I have that on my schedule.”

Too much pressure! Especially if you’re new to this.

We keep pushing it out until we “have the time” but we have busy lives and that tends to come last on the priority list. Or when the time does open up, we feel so overwhelmed about what to do or where to start. We wind up scrolling Facebook or Instagram.

Listen, if you have a service based business, that content is your only asset, other that YOU. There’s no inventory to sell. You’re selling you - and your content. So, when you put it last, waiting for that elusive “couple of hours” you’re hiding your absolute BEST asset. Do you hear what I’m saying?

KEY TAKEAWAY: So if the idea of batching content is causing you to procrastinate, and in turn keep your number 1 asset hidden, then it’s NOT serving you.

You can always come back to the idea after you’ve gained more traction. Right now, you need to keep your consistency going by any means possible.

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Allowing yourself to be supported is such a huge part of resilience.

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From the time I was young I was always the person who just didn’t make a big deal out of something I wanted--I just did it.

I have achieved and done and seen and gone all throughout my life because I would say, “I want that. I’m going to figure out a way to do it.” It was a level of drive and independence that trusted in me and me only.

I was always of the opinion that it’d be better to do it myself than trust someone else and have them maybe mess it up

Then Maeve died. My first REAL instance of letting go and accepting help happened in these immediate days following her birth and burial, in the form of meals, rides, and support in the only ways that people knew how to give it. It wasn't easy to accept help, but I knew I must. We were grappling together, figuring it out as we went.

As time went on, I began to realize that my life was a result of everything I’d been doing up to that point; and that if I wanted something different, maybe I should TRY something different.

That maybe there were people who were worth paying to help me learn those things. Instead of just reading books and saying "that was a great book, ok what’s next on my list?" (Books are great, I love books. But for me it was all head knowledge, no action.)

My experience losing Maeve really turned that around for me. Allowing yourself to be supported is such a huge part of resilience. Making that shift in order to both survive and become even more resilient, was a really big part of it.

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Want to learn EXACTLY where to start (or re-start) building a 6-figure business doing work you're passionate about? Download the first chapter of my #1 bestselling book, The Income Replacement Formula: Seven Simple Steps To Doing What You Love And Making Six Figures From Anywhere for FREE by clicking here.

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"Make Me" or "Break Me"

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When Maeve died, I saw very clearly the two options in front of me, as black and white as it sounds.

In the depths of my grief, I could retreat and become an alcoholic for the rest of my life. I love my wine, and I knew that was a realistic potential for me.

Or I could dig down deep and make something meaningful of her life.

There was - and is - a lot of confusion over how to parent a child who is dead. I know from talking to other loss parents, one of their greatest fears is that their child will be forgotten. And with Maeve, this fear was very real. She never took a breath and the only pictures we have of her are in the hospital room.

I realized that parenting a child who is no longer living can mean creating a legacy FOR her. I wanted to make her famous. In the process, I wanted to create something that I was proud of as well.

Seeing it as black and white, these two diverging roads, helped me make the decision that I was going to go all in on this other path to “make me" rather than break me.

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Choices in life...

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One of my grandfathers died a bitter man.

Before he died, we all saw that bitterness that took root in his life all because he was never able to forgive his father (essentially for showing favoritism to the prodigal son, his brother). Everybody knew it and saw it. 

On the other side of my dad’s family, my great grandfather had lost two wives and both of his kids in his life. He buried all of them. He had survived all of them--and he thrived. How did he handle this insanely tragic life? What he CHOSE to do was to be happy and joyful. 

He was a dentist and came from nothing. He put many of his siblings through school as well. He accepted chickens as payments from the people in poverty who he served. 

He was a very kind man. 

Even though I don’t remember him personally, my parents tell me that when I was a toddler I loved him and had a strong connection with him. 

And that connection continues through the legacy he left.

When Maeve died, I thought about both of these grandfathers in my family line. I saw my life through the lens of my heritage. Their two paths diverged based on their choices, and I knew, even as I laid in the hospital, that those two paths lay in front of me. 

It was up to me which one I was going to take.

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Do you ever question "Am I enough?"

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When I was 2 years old, my twin sisters were born, rocking my young self out of only-child status, with all the attention and parental focus that comes with it. It was then that I first remember starting to question whether I was “enough.”

In early 2015 I was expecting my first child. We didn’t know yet whether we were having a boy or a girl. It had been a textbook pregnancy, medically speaking, and I was 37 weeks along. I thought all we had to do was put up my swollen feet and wait to go into labor.

“I’m sorry, we cannot find a heartbeat.”

This bomb drop in my lap started a series of events that will define me for the rest of my life. I went to the hospital to be induced and delivered my first daughter, Maeve Evalyn, stillborn.

I had no idea what to do with my life after that. I didn’t know how to survive this crazy thing that we didn’t even know could or would happen to us (“Did this happen to anyone??” Turns out, it did).

I remember thinking, even in the hospital, “This is going to be the thing that makes me or breaks me… and I’m going to choose to let it make me, whatever that looks like.”

So that’s what I did.

I realized that this was the worst possible thing that could happen to me. I personally couldn’t--and still can’t--imagine worse.

Knowing in my heart that nothing worse could happen finally got me over my fear of not being enough, my fear of failure, my fear of leaving my safe, comfortable job.

It took that level of tragedy to break me out of everything comfortable, demolishing my life to rubble. I needed to redefine every relationship in my life because now I was the girl whose baby had died--and plenty of people were way uncomfortable with that and still are.

It was my opportunity to redefine myself and realize that if I could survive this, I could survive anything.

So somehow I must be enough.

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How do your family dynamics play a role in who you were growing up and who you are today?

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Where were you born in your family? First, last, middle, only child, only daughter? How do your family dynamics play a role in who you were growing up and who you are today?

I was born the oldest of 4, and after my parents struggled to conceive--both factors I believe contributing to my role in the family.

I was the typical oldest, high-achiever, independent, and couldn’t wait to leave the house (which I did at 17 to go to college). I started school at the age of 4 when mom had 1.5 year old twins-- she thought I was ready and she was ready to have one kid off to school.

I was very bossy. That was squelched by several teachers and I learned to hide that bossy leader part of who I was because it was not getting me positive attention to be female and act that way. I was also a people pleaser because I wanted that positive attention from my parents after my siblings came along.

I learned to avoid conflict because conflict is not something my parents ever had in front of us or showed us how to work through. And not rocking the boat in a family that large felt safe.

The three of us girls came first, with the baby being my only brother. Only 2.5 years their elder, I was both the one setting the standard for their own paths, as well as participating in the competition that comes with three teenage girls that close together in age.

I was serious and my sisters were “fun.” They were also drama at times, as younger siblings can be. I would try not to get pulled into it, always being the peacemaker, always striving to be the safe, steady rock in the family, at least amongst the kids. And I think that role continued into my adulthood until I faced my own personal tragedy.

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