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[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

When I was a freshman in college, I was accepted into an advanced creative writing class. I admit, at the time I was pretty brash and full of myself (and not in a good way) and definitely deserved to be taken down a peg or two.

And, that’s precisely what happened. The creative writing professor didn’t care for me, gave me a C, and told me it was because I didn’t have much talent as a writer.

Now, for years, I would imagine telling this story on these national platforms, like Oprah, after I was a huge success, of course.

There was only one problem.

I had stopped writing.

Oh, I still had fantasies of becoming a famous author. And I often dreamed of telling this story as a revenge fantasy. But, in terms of putting the work in and actually sitting my butt down in a chair and writing, I wasn’t doing a darn thing.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I just didn’t have any ideas. I was completely blocked.

So, why was that? What happened to me?

Well, what I see now is I didn’t allow myself to process my emotions.

I jumped right into “Well, I’ll show her” and “Every famous author was told he or she didn’t have talent” mode, and skipped right over the part where I have a good cry because my feelings are hurt and maybe throw a temper tantrum while I’m at it. (Alone of course. This is not about creating a lot of drama and having people feel sorry for me. This is simply me behind closed doors feeling my emotions.)

I can remember back then feeling out of sorts, like I was a bottle of carbonated fizzy soda all blocked up with nowhere to go. I was literally feeling myself block my creativity, even though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time. I didn’t understand how important it was to feel my emotions and let them out before I could settle back down and do the hard work of creating.

So, now let’s talk about you. I get it. Being criticized is never fun. It’s even less fun now when social media is lurking right around the corner and people can say all sorts of nasty and hateful things for the world to read.

I understand. You should check out some of my reviews on Amazon. Ooof — a few are brutal. One even compares my writing to a 6-year-old. So, yeah. It happens.

But am I going to let those nasty-minded mean people stop me from getting my message out to those who are looking for it? Absolutely not. In fact, you can check out my fiction brand right here.

And you shouldn’t let them stop you either.

Which is why taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

If you don’t allow yourself to feel bad when you’re criticized, OR if you’re not allowing yourself to feel the fear you might be criticized if you get too big, you’re never going to allow yourself to get big enough to be criticized.

And, if you do that, who wins? You or your would-be critics?

The best part? Eventually the critics will lose their power to hurt you. Honestly. If you do the work and feel the feelings, no matter what they are, you’ll stop being triggered.

And then, who is the real winner?

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Video] Flip It! Is Who You Are Getting In the Way of Your Big Dream?

[Video] Flip It! Is Who You Are Getting In the Way of Your Big Dream?

It may not be your fault you haven’t accomplished your big dream.

The problem may be who you believe you are.

Let me explain. You may have heard the famous saying, often attributed to Henry Ford, Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right.

I would take that a step further and say who you BELIEVE you are, determines what you can do or can’t do.

For instance, do you say make these sorts of statements to yourself?

“I’m no good at math.” “I’m a great cook.” “I’ll never be successful.” “I’ve never been lucky.”

Take a good look at those statements. What’s one thing they all have common?

They all start with a to be verb — a version of I am.

Take a moment to let that sink in. How many times a day do you say you ARE something, whether it’s a good thing like I’m a great cook or a negative thing like I’m horrible at math?

Either way, you’re defining your accomplishments by who you believe you are.

If you believe you’ll be successful at what you set out to do, then you’ll be successful.

If you believe your parents were right and you’ll never amount to anything, you’ll never amount to anything.

But, there’s even a deeper level.

Let’s say you’ve always had a dream of owning your own business, but you’ve never taken any action toward that dream. It may be because you see yourself as a wanna be business owner rather than an actual business owner.

Or, maybe you’ve always dreamed of being a published author, but you’ve never been able to find the time to write. You may see yourself as a wanna be author.

Mark Manson in his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life talks about if you somehow never seem to make any strives toward your goals, you may see yourself as someone who is forever wanting to accomplish the goal but never actually does it.

For myself, what I call love-based goals are goals that are actually whispers from your soul. These are goals that for them to come true, YOU need to transform yourself into the person your soul is calling you to be.

Simple, right? But, how do you do it? How do you change who you believe you are so you can accomplish your goals and dreams?

Start by simply observing what your inner voice or inner critic, is saying to you. You may even want to write down what that inner voice is blathering on and on about so you can really analyze it.

Chances are, you’ll find your inner voice saying some sort of version of I am, such as: I’ll never be successful or someday I’ll write my book.

So, the first thing to do is to change what you’re saying to yourself, so say I am successful or I am writing my book.

Now, if you’re not successful or you’re not writing your book, your brain is going to call BS. That’s okay. What I’m aiming for here is to see what emotions start to come up for you. Is it fear? Grief? Resentment? Anger? A combination of emotions? Something else?

I don’t want you to do anything except pause and breathe and feel those emotions.

Those emotions are what’s standing in your way of changing who you are so you can accomplish your big dream.

And, once those emotions aren’t clouding up your judgement, it will be much easier for you to see a path toward making your goals come true.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Goals” book and my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Video] Flip It! Why Aren’t My Goals Coming True?

[Video] Flip It! Why Aren’t My Goals Coming True?

Has this ever happened to you?

You have a big goal. Maybe you want to start a business or grow a business. Maybe you want to hit a certain income goal. Or maybe you’re finally ready to start writing your book.

So, you start taking action toward that goals.

But … something funny happens.

All these fears start coming up. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if I spend all of my time working? What if my partner leaves me? What if my kids start to hate me?

Maybe you stop being able to sleep because of all of these worries.

Or, maybe you’re angry all of the time.

Or, maybe you waste hours and hours stewing about how everyone else seems to be further on their journey than you.

So, you find yourself procrastinating or losing focus. Or, maybe you simply can never find the time to work on them.

You’re busy, right? There’s always something more important or urgent to work on.

Right?

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many, many people are unable to take even the smallest action towards their goals and dreams.

They have lots of reasons why. Some of those reasons are even pretty good. They don’t have the time or the money or they’re too old or it’s just not the right time. They can pursue their dreams when the kids go back to school or once their mom isn’t sick anymore or after they retire.

But, here’s the thing. Whatever you telling yourself right now, ISN’T what’s actually stopping you.

I’m not saying that reason isn’t true. I’m saying it’s NOT what’s stopping you.

I don’t care how busy you are, if you’re serious about your dreams, you can find 15 minutes a day to work on them. (And, trust me, you can do a lot in 15 minutes. I wrote 3 books in only 15 minutes day.)

So, if it’s not your excuses, then what’s stopping you?

Simple. Your fear-based emotions.

You see, all emotions fall under either love or fear. Fear-based emotions include fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, guilt, shame, grief.

For most of us, we don’t want to feel our fear-based emotions (for obvious reasons). But, just because we don’t want to feel them doesn’t mean they don’t want to be felt.

It also doesn’t mean they won’t keep chasing you until you actually take the time you feel them.

But, there’s good news. Once you feel them, they move on.

(Yes, it really can be that simple. No, it’s not easy to feel your fear-based emotions, but it IS simple. All it requires is you pause, breathe and feel. Not react. Not DO anything about those emotions. Just be with them.)

So, if you see yourself here, I’d love to encourage you to try something different. The next time you’re taking action on your goals and some fear-based emotion starts to raise its ugly head (whether it be worry or resentment or anger or grief or shame or guilt or something else) rather than DO something about that emotion (including make up a story around why its happening) just STOP.

Stop, breathe and feel.

Then, once it’s moved through you, go back to working on your goals.

You may be amazed at the magic you create in your life or business.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Goals” book — you can check it out here.

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

Along with creating new goals and resolutions, it’s also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball (aka an angel snow globe in my case) and make some predictions for the New Year, especially around the hot topic of business success.

And, I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was a little rough, and it could get rougher.

BUT, as always, there is opportunity as well, just as long as you’re open to what it looks like (in other words, it may not be dressed the way it was before OR the way you’d prefer it to be—but more on that in a bit).

Without further ado, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us.

1. It’s no longer “business as usual.”

One thing that became VERY clear in 2017 is how fast marketing strategies can simply cease to work, especially in the coaching/transformation industry. What used to work, isn’t (or, at least, it’s not working the way it used to).

Needless to say, this took some folks by surprise (while creating a lot of panic).

So, what happened?

I think it’s the part of the end of a cycle of two basic human drives (or two things we’re hardwired to be attracted to):

* The attraction of “new”

* And the attraction of “easy”

I’ll explain.

You may not know this, but there was a time (really!) where all you had to do was post a little opt-in box on your website with the words “Free Newsletter!” and people would sign up. (I actually once had someone email me wanting to get my free newsletter because my opt-in form wasn’t working properly.)

Now this was way back … when hearing the words “You got mail!” was exciting. (I got mail! Yay!)

Today, it’s a serious challenge to persuade people to even give you their email address much less buy something from you. And “You got mail!”? People are now excited when they manage to whittle down their inbox to below 100 emails.

Back then, email was new. Free newsletters were new. Therefore, it was a lot easier to see results.

And, in some cases, we’re talking pretty dramatic results.

In the early days of the Internet, it wasn’t uncommon for early adopters to get some insane results without doing a lot of work. And it wasn’t necessarily because what they offered was so incredible, or even that their marketing was so great.

It was because what they did was new.

And the power of new broke through the clutter.

So then, the attraction of “easy” kicked in. Early adopters made more money teaching their “easy” system to the next wave of entrepreneurs, who eagerly lapped it up. (After all, there are very few things we humans love better than something being “easy.”)

Of course, the fresh, shiny sheen of “new” eventually wears off, turning it “old” and “familiar.” “Old” and “familiar” is not nearly as sexy as “new.” They don’t attract nearly the attention, which means it doesn’t work nearly as well. Even worse, “new” becomes “old” even faster when more people use it.

Which means the early adopters need to find a different “new.” And the cycle starts all over again.

Until, eventually, we reach the predictable end.

Internet Marketing itself is no longer all that “new” or “easy.”

(And, all those tricks that came with it? Yeah, those are “old, familiar, and busted,” too.)

You see, the problem with “new” and “easy,” at least as it relates to Internet Marketing, is that it circumvents two key components of growing a successful business—work and patience.

And a lot of people get addicted to “new” and “easy” and forgot about the “time” and “work” part.

So, when “new” and “easy” stop getting results, there is panic.

Then what do we do?

Is the world as we know it over? Do we all need to get j-o-b-s?

Well, before you start trying to remember what a resume even looks like, let’s see what the next prediction is.

2. BUT it IS sort of “business as usual.”

Wait. I’m confused too. Wasn’t the first prediction that it’s no longer business as usual?

Yes, IF you’re building your business on a foundation of “new” and “easy.” While “new” and “easy” will always provide a shot in the arm, it’s not sustainable.

If you want a solid, dependable, profitable, successful business, then maybe it’s time to go back to solid, dependable, profitable, successful business practices.

What are those?

It’s simple—solve a problem that’s keeping your ideal clients up at night, and offer it to them at a fair price (fair to both of you—you need to make a living, and your ideal clients need to feel like they didn’t overpay for what was delivered).

How do you do that? Focus on three main principles:

* Attracting new prospects

* Turning those prospects into clients

* Taking great care of those clients

That’s really it.

Business really isn’t complicated. I know it can seem like it is (especially when you’re stuck in the cycle of “new” because you’re constantly having the chase the next “new” thing), but it truly doesn’t have to be. (And that includes enjoying sustained business success.)

So, how do you do all of that?

Well, let’s jump into prediction three.

3. Relationships are the new currency.

(Relationships were actually the old currency, too, but let’s not split hairs.)

People want to do business with people. People have ALWAYS wanted to do business with people. People WILL always want to do business with people.

So, how did we end up with so many empty, “personality” brand businesses that have little connection to their clients?

Simple. We forgot (blame the frenzy of “new” and “easy” coupled with how easy the internet makes it for us to hide behind our computer).

So how do you do that?

First, let your ideal prospects and clients and customers FEEL you. Hear your voice. Get to know your personality quirks. Maybe even show your vulnerability.

And, don’t ever forget about prediction four.

4. Quality never goes out of style.

There were many things we forgot when we were trapped in the “new” and “easy” cycle, including making sure we actually created a great product or service.

One of the principles of “new” was “speed.” Think about it—the people who benefit the most from “new” are the early adopters. The faster you can get something “new” out there, the better your results.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speed. In fact, there are times when moving swiftly makes good business sense.

But, “speed” can quickly turn into “sloppy.” And, in the quest to make things happen faster, “sloppy” somehow became more acceptable. “Just launch it and fix it later” became the new motto (or, even worse, “launch it first and create it later”).

Again, there’s wisdom in “launching first and creating later.” For one thing, you won’t spend weeks or months creating something no one wants to buy. You’ll know you have a market.

But, the problem is when people buy, they’re expecting the product. So, you have no choice but to create it fast. And, that leads to “sloppy.”

What’s the alternative?

Ask your prospects and clients what they want (and if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll tell you). Test something small—maybe a small product or a free piece of content—and see what the results are. Keep an eye on what seems to be working (and not working) in your marketplace, so you can stay ahead of the trends.

And that leads us to prediction five.

5. Be nimble.

I can hear you now: “Wait. Didn’t you just say “speed” was the first step on a slippery road to ‘sloppy’?”

“Speed,” yes. But, just because you’re nimble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moving fast with EVERY part of your business.

For me, being nimble means you’re in a position to see what’s out there and respond quickly to it.

For instance, remember MySpace? No? I’m not surprised. I barely remember it either.

Years ago, before Facebook became the ten-foot-tall gorilla, there was MySpace.

For awhile, MySpace was the hot social networking platform to be on. One of my friends even successfully sold a little product on how to make money on MySpace.

And then Facebook took off.

Enough said.

So, the point of this is you DO need to keep an eye open to what’s working and what’s not working. Just because Facebook is where your clients are today doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be tomorrow.

(BUT, if you’ve created a connection with your ideal prospects, they’ll likely also follow you to the new platform.)

And, if you want to stay nimble, check out number six.

6. Keep an eye on your statistics.

I know, I know. Numbers aren’t sexy.

BUT, they’re one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse with not only what’s going on in your industry, but in your business. And they’re the best way to keep you on the path to sustained business success.

Here’s the thing: There’s no question that right now a lot of entrepreneurs are floundering because the strategies they used to used to both grow their business and enjoy business success aren’t working the way they used to.

BUT, let’s not forget there are also entrepreneurs out there who had their best year ever in 2017.

Just because something isn’t working in the rest of your industry doesn’t mean it will affect you. (Keep in mind, the reverse is true too—just because something is working for EVERYONE doesn’t mean you’ll have success with it.)

That’s why keeping an eye on your specific numbers and looking for trends is important.

What numbers should you watch? Anything you want to grow. Some ideas include:

* Email subscribers

* Opens/clicks on your email list

* How many of your prospects buy

* How many visitors to your website

* Specific numbers for any marketing strategy you’re doing (i.e. blog visitors, podcast downloads, YouTube watches, etc.)

And, to brig it all home, prediction seven.

7. It’s never too soon to panic (aka someone, somewhere will panic this year).

Just as people are attracted to “new” and “easy,” they’re also attracted to “panic.”

It’s important to remember, panicking is a choice. Yes, I know, when the bottom falls out, it’s easy to slip into panic.

And, it’s important to feel those feelings—so if that’s what you’re feeling, then feel it and let it move through you.

Just don’t let it control your actions or decisions.

Nothing good happens when you run your business from a state of panic. And, you especially need to make decisions from your inner wisdom and/or God (or your higher power) if the bottom HAS dropped out. (In other words, when it’s most important that you don’t panic, you’re most likely to feel panic.) (Yes, I agree, it sucks.)

So, feel it, and THEN take action.

ESPECIALLY since there’s actually a lot of opportunity and a lot hope to be found out there.

In fact, let me end on a high note:

I made the claim that Internet Marketing itself is no longer “new” and “easy,” but has moved to “old” and “familiar.”

However, that doesn’t mean Internet Marketing doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. Internet Marketing ABSOLUTELY works—BUT only if you use it correctly.

Relying on novelty of “new” to break through the clutter is a stressful, losing proposition. But, using an old and familiar tool to give people what they really want (i.e. a solid relationship, a high-quality product, etc.) is absolutely a winning strategy.

Even better, it’s also key to building your business on a solid foundation of business success.

If you want more help, you may want to dig into my Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here (especially my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.)

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

It’s practically an epidemic; every year, people toss their unaccomplished business goals from the previous year in the garbage, and gear up to set new ones on January 1.

And every year, no matter how fresh and shiny the new business goals are, there’s always little to no progress made toward them.

Why?

Well, to start, if you don’t do things differently, how can you expect different results?

Today, I’m sharing three steps to goal setting, so 2018 really can be YOUR year. (And if you want to know 3 common pitfalls that likely contributed to last year’s goals ending up in the trash, this post has got you covered.)

But first, a quick explanation of what I consider a key differentiation when we’re talking about goals:

If you have goals that haunt you, yet no matter what you do, you’re not able to make progress on them, they may be what I call “love-based goals,” which are whispers from your soul (and yes, these are very different than other goals).

(Combine that with the fact that owning a business is one of the top personal development tools out there, in many cases, you may discover your business goals are also love-based goals.)

Your soul wants you to evolve into the person you’re meant to be, so to help you do that, it whispers to you, planting the seeds of goals you would love to turn into reality. (Think of it as the reward for evolving into the person you’re meant to be.)

But, as you need to actually become a different person for these goals to come true, you’ll likely discover your subconscious throwing up blocks and your ego resisting.

That’s why we so often fall short when it comes to turning our goals into reality, especially our business goals. We’re not prepared for the blocks and resistance that are triggered when we try and move forward toward those business goals.

But, if we know to expect that to happen, we can be better prepared to succeed when challenges and issues come up. And, to help you get prepared, here are three steps you can take to break through and start bringing your business goals to life.

Step 1. Identify your love-based goals.

Remember, these are the goals that are whispers from your soul and are designed to help you evolve into the person you’re meant to be. A good way to get started identifying your love-based goals is to imagine a perfect day in your life. (Not a perfect vacation day, but a perfect business day.) What precisely are you doing during this perfect day?  Write it down, and be as descriptive and detailed as possible. In that description are clues that will help you identify your love-based goals.

Step 2. Identify precisely what is blocking you.

The deeper I explore goal setting, the more I see that goal setting is really another self-development tool.

Chances are, at the same time you’re thinking about your love-based goals, you’re also thinking about all the reasons you can’t possibly take action toward them. I suggest writing all those down, too, along with any fears that come up. If you find yourself writing a lack of time and/or money, dig deeper. That’s your ego talking. What’s underneath that block?

If it’s a money block, ask yourself this: “If money wasn’t an object, would I be working toward these goals right now?” And, if the answer is “Yes,” is there a way you can get started with the budget you’re on right now?

If it’s a time block, are you able to carve out 15 minutes a day to work on your goal? And before you think “Oh, I can’t possibly do anything in only 15 minutes a day”—that actually isn’t true. I wrote three nonfiction books AND my novel in two years, using the only 15-minute a day approach. I highly encourage you to at least try it, and see how much you get done in 15 minutes.

And if it WAS possible, what could you give up to free up that time? Would you be willing to wake up 15 minutes earlier? Spend 15 minutes during your lunch?

If you’re still resisting, pay attention to your excuses. The real fear is likely buried somewhere in there.

Step 3. Be prepared for your blocks to come up and have a plan in place for dealing with them.

This is a big one.

As I mentioned, you WILL have blocks and resistance show up as you work on your love-based goals. So, know this and be prepared.

There are a lot of tools that can help you overcome the blocks and resistance—meditation, journaling, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping) are some of the top. Depending on how deep the block, you may want to look into some coaching to help you work through it.

In addition, be prepared for a lot of different uncomfortable emotions to surface as you work toward your goals. You may feel anger or resentment that you’ve wasted so much time. You may feel fear that you’ll fail and lose everything. You may even feel grief, which likely doesn’t even make sense to you.

Here’s the key: If you simply feel those feelings, rather than bury them or run away from them or decide you shouldn’t be working them, those feelings will move through you. Eventually, if they do, they won’t trigger you anymore.

I’m not going to say it’s easy, because if it was, your goals would have already come true. But, it IS doable.

And, if you want to learn more about love-based goals, check out my new book “Love-Based Goals: A Guide to Living Your Purpose and Passion” available at Amazon and other major online bookstores.

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

A famous study of Harvard graduates revealed that students who write down and review their goals are far more likely to actually attain them.

So, if it’s really that simple, why AREN’T we writing down our goals? Aren’t our goals worth doing everything in our power to make them come true?

Why is it then that we tend to celebrate the end of every year by tossing last year’s goals in the trash, and promising ourselves next year WILL be different?

Well, all due respect to the Harvard study, but I don’t think it went far enough. You see, I think there’s a deeper reason your goals haven’t come true (three of them, actually).

After all, if it was REALLY that simple—if all we had to do was write down our goals and review them every day to attain them—wouldn’t more people be doing it?

There is something deeper going on that’s keeping us from taking that simple action. And, when you understand what’s really stopping you from reaching your goals, you can then make the necessary changes that will help you do so in the future.

Let’s dig in:

1. Your identity doesn’t match your goals.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life,” Mark Manson explains how, if you want to become a writer, but you never actually sit down to write, your identity may be someone who wants to write but never actually gets anything done.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. One of the functions of the ego is to protect your core identity, because if that goes, then who are you anyway? It’s scary to lose your identity.

So, your ego is going to fight tooth and nail to keep your identity intact, even if it’s an identity you don’t particularly care for (i.e. a “wanna-be” author or entrepreneur).

And I think there’s a deeper level to this, too.

I think there are certain goals—I call them “Love-Based Goals,” that, if you want them to come true, require you to be different. They’re whispers from your soul, and they help you transform into the person your soul knows you can be.

When you become the person your soul is nudging you to be, those goals will fall into place.

But if your identity doesn’t match your goals, you’re stuck. If, for example, you’ve been saying something like, “Someday, I’m going to open my business/write that book/quit my soul-sucking job,” your identity may be stuck on some sort of future version of yourself that never comes true.

Because if it came true, you would lose your current identity, as you know it. (Paradoxical, I know. But, there are many things in our life that don’t make any sense and yet somehow, they control us, so keep an open mind.) Your ego doesn’t want to lose its current identity, so it creates a resistance to the transformation of it. Which leads me to the second pitfall that may be keeping your goals from coming true …

 2. You have a fear, a mindset block, “resistance,” or something else that’s stopping you.

(Remember, this can also be directly tied to #1—you’re blocked around your goal, and over time, your identity gradually changes to a “wanna be.”) This can show up in your life in many ways, but some common indications that this is what’s going on with you never seem to have enough time to work on your goals, or you can’t focus on them, or you experience constant procrastination when it comes to sitting down to actually work on them.

If you’re really struggling when it comes to taking action toward your dreams, you may also have some sort of fear lurking underneath the procrastination (and that fear can be totally subconscious). For instance, you may have a fear of success or a fear of failure (which clearly would impact the success of any endeavor your take on). You may have a fear of visibility or being seen, which translates to you not marketing your business enough, which results in the failure of your business. You may have a fear that your spouse or partner will leave you if you become too successful. Maybe you can’t bear the idea of making more money than your parents.

All of these are examples of what can happen when your subconscious (which is 95% of your brain) is not on board with what your conscious mind (or the other 5%) wants to do.

(Note: this one is so important, I’m going to talk more about it in future posts.)

3. The goals aren’t yours.

In some ways, this is the easiest of the three pitfalls to handle, but it may also be more deflating than the others, because you may have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve wasted a chunk of your life on goals that aren’t even yours.

If you’re facing this one, one of two things is likely going on: the goals are someone else’s, or you’re not willing to do the work.

Someone else’s goals: Maybe you grew up with a father who thought you’d make an awesome doctor, or a mother who assumed you would take over the family business. Maybe they never even asked you what you wanted to do—it was always just “understood.”

Or maybe you grew up believing part of being an adult meant you needed to get a responsible, boring job. Or maybe you felt a lot of shame around your body because it wasn’t “thin” enough, and you’re forever trying to lose weight that just refuses to come off.

All of these are examples of internalizing someone else’s goals, whether that someone else is a specific person (such as a parent), or society/media, etc.

Either way, the goals are not yours. They’re goals you likely feel you “should” be doing, but they aren’t yours.

Not willing to do the work: The other version of this pitfall comes to light when you have goals that you think are super awesome, but not quite awesome enough to actually do the work to reach them. For instance, who wouldn’t love an extra million or two in their bank account? But are you willing to do the work it requires to get that money there?

Lots of little girls dream of being a professional ballerina (including me). But, the first time I laced up actual pointe shoes and stood on my toes … let’s just say my interest waned after that.

If you’re not willing to do the work, the goals aren’t yours. (And, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have only so much time on this planet—there’s no shame in not spending hours and hours on goals that aren’t yours.)

So, now you are aware of the common pitfalls that could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

And, if you want to take it a step further and bring your love-based goals to life, check out this simple, three-step system to help you get started.

And, if you want more on this topic, check out my new “Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Your Purpose and Passion” book, available at most online retailers here.

[Video] Flip It! Successful People Are Just Lucky

[Video] Flip It! Successful People Are Just Lucky

My grandfather was a very successful man.

He started a very successful business that flourished during WWII. When other people were cutting back, he was making money. He invested at the stock market at the right time and made a killing.

Heck, he used to go to Vegas and win at Keno. Keno has some of the worst odds. But, Grandpa would win. $1500 a pop.

Yes, Grandpa was lucky. And he knew it.

So, how did it happen? Was he born under the lucky tree?

Here’s what I think — I think he was lucky because he believed he was lucky.

It was a self fulfilling prophecy.

The more he believed, the luckier he became.

Now, I know some of you are saying “Michele, it can’t be that easy. And besides, I’m not lucky, so this wouldn’t work for me anyway.”

But, what if it COULD be that easy? Us humans like to overcomplicate things–maybe it really IS as simple as it sounds?

Still not convinced? Let me share a story. I decided to test this theory on myself.

For years I never won at raffles. Never won. I used to say things, “Oh I never win at raffles.”

So, I thought, what if I changed that? What if I started to say I always win at raffles?

Next time I was at a raffle, I decided to believe I was going to win.

And you know what happened? I won!

So, I used that evidence at the next raffle to believe I would win. And it happened again. Pretty soon I was always winning at raffles. It was getting a little embarrassing actually.

Now, I realize if you have all this evidence that you aren’t lucky and you never win at raffles, it may be tough to convince yourself otherwise. So, I would suggest starting small, even if it has nothing to do with money. Do you have parking lot karma? Every time you pull into a parking lot, a spot opens up? Start there.

Or maybe there’s something else you’re always lucky at you can focus on. Like maybe you have the best assistant in the world or you have a knack for publishing Facebook posts that get a lot of comments and likes. Or maybe you have a popular podcast. Focus on that. And, every time something happens in your business that’s successful and lucky, add it to your evidence that you ARE successful and lucky.

It likely isn’t going to change overnight. But, it CAN change, if you’re committed to flipping your perspective.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

If you’re an entrepreneur for long enough, you’ll likely feel like you want to quit every now and then. Or even consider burning down your business a time or two.

That’s normal. Pretty much every successful entrepreneur I know has fantasized about leaving his or her business, and running off to live in a grass hut on a beach somewhere.

But, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it.

In fact, I would argue that most of the time when you get that “I QUIT” feeling, there’s really something else going on.

And, if you can get to the heart of what “I quit” is REALLY telling you, you can turn around more than your business.

You can turn around your life.

So, let’s dive into a few possible reasons behind that “burn it down” feeling. (Note—this isn’t meant to be a complete list. You may have something going on I don’t list here, and that’s perfect. This is just meant to help you shift your perspective a bit.)

• Are you exhausted and/or overwhelmed? I know when I get overwhelmed, I just want to run away. But, the more effective response is to take a look at why you’re feeling exhausted and/or overwhelmed, and fix that.

Maybe you need to get more help? And, yes, that may mean hiring a team member or two in your business, but it may also mean hiring a housekeeper or a personal assistant or a nanny. Or it could mean having a heart-to-heart with your spouse, partner, and/or older children, and enlisting their help around the house.

Or maybe you just need to let some things go. Maybe you cut back on volunteer or community service hours, or maybe you let go of the idea that you absolutely must have a super-clean house. Or maybe there’s a business project or a task on your to-do list that hasn’t gotten done for a while now, and just needs to be deleted.

Basically, if this is you, I would encourage you to take a good, long look at your business and your life and see what you can do to restructure or delegate or delete the tasks that are overwhelming you.

• Are you bored? A lot of creative entrepreneurs confuse boredom with the desire to burn things down. They’re bored, so therefore “It’s not working anymore,” and they need to go do something else.

But, before you start burning things down, see if there’s a way you can restructure your business so you’re not stuck doing the things that are boring you, and that will give you the space and energy to pursue new challenges that excite you.

• Are you feeling entitled? No, this doesn’t only apply to Millennials. If you find yourself thinking things like “This really should be easier,” or “I should be further along by now,” or “Why do I have to do this?” or “Why is so-and-so more famous and successful than me?” you may be suffering from a case of entitlement.

If this is you, you may want to consider volunteering or spending time with people who have bigger challenges than you have. That’s typically a good way to reset your mind, and realize how blessed you actually are.

• Do you have the wrong business model? If you are a one-on-one business coach and you’re built for group programs, you’re likely going to eventually resent your business.

If you find yourself in this place, a smarter move may be to restructure your business model into one that better suits you. A great place to start is with my free book: How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.

Another variation of this concept has to do with what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Excellence” versus your “Zone of Genius.” Around which have you built your business? If you’re in your Zone of Excellence, yes, you’re doing work you like and are good at. But you also may know deep down that there’s something not quite right. And, after a while, that may start to suck the life out of you.

• Did you think the money would make everything else worth it? I’ve known a number of successful entrepreneurs who have built businesses they didn’t love (or even much like), but who are making really good money.

They did it because they assumed the money would make everything else worth it.

So, imagine their dismay when they realize that isn’t the case.

If you’re building something simply for the money, there’s a chance you may wake up one morning and flat out decide you’re done, because the money isn’t worth it. If this is you, you may want to start evaluating now, to see how you can tweak what you’re doing so it’s more in line with your purpose and/or passion.

• Are you in a wormhole? My friend, Juicy Marketing Expert Lisa Cherney, used to talk about being in the wormhole, which basically represents the “breakdown” before the “breakthrough.” It’s really common for entrepreneurs to get derailed, or fall down into a pit, while on their entrepreneurial journey. But sometimes, your darkest times occur right before your biggest breakthroughs.

If you find yourself here, self-development tools such as meditation or journaling or coaching may help. You can also check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book for more tools and exercises that can help you manage your mindset, and guide your breakthrough.

• Have you been neglecting your self-care? If so, then it’s no wonder you’re feeling worn down and ready to quit. Even if you feel like you can’t take the time, you may have no choice but to take a few days (or even longer) off, and make some time for yourself.

• Do you have a pattern of walking away? If this is a common pattern of yours—to walk away or quit—this may be a golden opportunity to stay in the game … to NOT let yourself quit. In fact, it could be the beginning of the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Now, this is not to say you should never quit. There are absolutely times when quitting is the smartest option. But, before you do quit, it may be smart to make sure that truly is the best option for you.

If you want to dig into this topic more deeply, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

 

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Recently, a famous entrepreneur in the transformation industry apparently advised a room full of beginning and “wanna-be” entrepreneurs that one of the secrets to business success is to “burn it all down.”

I wasn’t personally in the room, but even if it didn’t happen precisely the way it was described to me, there are a few good teaching points I think are worth talking about.

1. There is a time and place to share your most vulnerable story—and that time is NOT when the walls are crashing down on you.

Look, being an entrepreneur is really, really tough. It’s going to trigger you. It’s going to push your buttons. You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down.

Some of those falls are going to be harder and more painful than others.

And, sometimes, the pit you find yourself in is so deep and so dark, the only possible way out you can see is to burn everything down.

I get it. Every single successful entrepreneur I know has contemplated burning it all down at some point, and a good many of them actually have (or did a pretty significant pivot).

As you can imagine, being in this place can wreak havoc on your emotions, which is why if you talk about it when you’re in the middle of it, you run the risk of sounding massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving.

(And, let’s be honest—you likely sound massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving because in that moment, you ARE. And it’s okay. It’s normal. You’re in a tremendously difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.)

The time to share is AFTER. After you’ve done the work, felt the feelings, and actually have some sort of positive resolution to share.

If you don’t have a positive resolution yet, that likely means it’s not time to share.

2. There’s more than one way to “burn it down.”

Some entrepreneurs are able to use their current business as fuel for a new one. Some simply burn it down and walk away. Some even take others down with them.

In the heat of the moment, you may decide you don’t care what happens to anyone else–you just want out. I get it. But, again, before you destroy what you worked so hard to build, I’d encourage you to take a moment and consider how it will affect others, such as:

• Your team. They’re depending on you financially. Are you still paying them like you promised? Are you able to bring them with you, if you begin traveling a new path? And, if not, are you giving them enough of a heads up, so they can find other arrangements?

• Your clients. They’re depending on you, too. Are you leaving them in a lurch, or are you honoring your commitment to them?

• Your past clients, customers, and buyers (and really anyone who believed in your message, teaching, and training). Are you now telling them everything you taught was a sham? Or are you still standing behind the essence of your message (as it may just be changing form)?

• Your commitments. Are you honoring your commitments and doing what you can to gracefully transition, or are you simply walking away, promises be damned? (Note—this includes promises you’ve made to yourself, as well as to others.)

It may be you’re at a point where you simply don’t care anymore. But if you do, I highly encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe and think about what you’re doing.

Like I said earlier, there are lots of ways to burn down your business, and how you do it says a lot about your character.

3. If you find yourself trapped in a pit, there is likely a deeper reason.

You typically don’t get stuck in pits unless something else is going on.

For instance, you may have heard the saying “breakdown to breakthrough”—in many cases, the deeper and darker the pit, the bigger the breakthrough. Or maybe the pit is supposed to be showing you something else … something that’s not even related to your business.

In fact, a lot of times, even if you feel like burning down your business, that actually isn’t the right solution.

In Part 2, I dug into some other deeper issues that may be lurking underneath your desire to burn it all down.

And, if you’d like to dig into more mindset issues that may be holding you back from the business success you’re dreaming about, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book. You can grab your copy here.