business coaching

The power of believing in YOUR way

Your unique balance

What makes one person feel safe, secure, comfortable and confident can be vastly different from what makes another person feel that way. Recently, I was thinking about one way I do things differently than most people I know: when I go on road trips, I hate to pre-book my hotels.

This makes many of my friends and family SO uncomfortable!

“Doesn’t it stress you out to not know where you’re going and what the plan is to get there?”

Nope! I get stressed out feeling locked into things! How am I going to know when I want to stop? My friends get personally stressed out for me when I tell them I don’t book a hotel, unable to separate how they would feel in my situation.

“What if you can’t find a hotel?”

I always find a hotel, maybe not at the first place I stop, but it always works out (and I always feel confident it will while we’re figuring it out). And my measure for “works out” is probably quite different than it is for other people because the thing I’m LOOKING for is not “safety” or “security” or “comfort in knowing” it’s “freedom to change my mind and be spontaneous.”

You may not like to road trip my way, but that doesn’t mean my way isn’t great because I’m getting what I’m looking to get out of the experience! I always believe it is going to work out and it always does. 🙂

This same idea applies to the different ways people run their businesses.

Some people like everything very structured and planned out and some like to fly by the seat of their pants (I fall into the second category).

There is great merit in having a well-structured and predictable business model (and the need for this gets more and more important the bigger you grow) but there is also great merit in having a business that is built to suit the things that are important to you (I need to have room in my business to create new things regularly. If I booked up all my time on the same things in a repeated manner for a year in advance, I would feel claustrophobic in my business).

Now, I’m not saying it’s a good idea to never have a plan, but it’s okay if you’re someone who likes to keep things feeling fresh and different on a regular basis.

You can run your business that way too, you just need to to know where and how to keep the freedom, spontaneity and creativity alive for yourself, while keeping the infrastructure of your business sound (you don’t need to book the hotel but you DO need to know you have money to pay for a hotel and a well-maintained vehicle to get you there).

We all get to prioritize what works for us and what we value and want to create. You can find the perfect balance for you by acknowledging what’s important to you, what motivates you, and what will keep you primed for success in your business. It’s the power of believing what you love and desire WILL work for you and lead you to success.

If you want to figure out how to find that balance for YOU and how you can use that to create success in your business, let’s chat. I’d love to learn more about what is important and motivates you as a business owner and how I could support you in achieving that!

2018 Word of the year: STRONG

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I want to share a little story about my 2018 word.

Last fall, while I was at a retreat they announced we were going to play capture the flag.

Capture the flag, like most team/group sports or anything that puts my physical skills on display really brings out my deepest darkest fears – shame, embarrassment and guilt about being so terrible and not being a team player.

I've done a lot of work on myself over the last number of years so there are a few things I now know about myself that came up when the game was announced.

1. My reaction wasn't rational. I knew I was being irrational, but I also knew thinking myself out of it and just enjoying the game wasn't going to happen.

2. I was learning to work on my boundaries. Turns out capture the flag makes me miserable, I could have opted out and just not played. I had that choice!

I decided that I would go and watch the game but not play. Boundaries. Go me!

When I arrived at the field they asked me to play. I said, "No thanks, I just want to watch" and then the universe said to me, "Let's test these boundaries, Lara" and collectively the group then said,

“Awww... C'mon. We're an uneven number of players - we need you!”

And the people pleaser in me, the person who doesn't like to let people down, the person who was terrified of being blamed for the whole team losing screamed, "Oh my God! You have to do it now! It's going to be terrible and you're going to suck, but they're all looking at you, so you HAVE NO CHOICE!!"

So, full of dread (always an excellent way to ensure fun during a game) I walked on to the field.

People ran by me and I didn't know what I was doing…it was going badly! This was worse than any other time I had played because now I knew the solution to those feelings was to NOT play and on top of suddenly being in the game I knew it was my own damn fault for not sticking to my boundaries.

Tears started streaming down my face and a kind person (I honestly can't even remember who it was) told me it was okay if I just wanted to leave.

So, I walked off the field and into the woods on a that crisp fall day, and, surrounded by the beauty and calm of trees, I sobbed. I sobbed for almost half an hour as I walked through the woods trying to calm down.

Walking off the field was far from the end of my shame and emotional breakdown. I was angry at myself for having played at all. I was angry at myself for not sticking to my boundaries and for so easily being swayed into doing something I didn't want to do.  

I was angry at the ladies on the field for getting me to play (trust me, my rational brain knows that's ridiculous, "c’mon, we want you and need you" is hardly some kind of evil pressure tactic of villains).

Over the last few years I have picked a word for the year. In 2017 the word was "open." I wanted to be open to learning, open to being guided, open to letting go of control. I was in the midst of trying to figure out what my 2018 word should be while at this retreat and as I stood in the woods beating myself up and going through a million emotions all about an insignificant game of capture the flag I had known all along that I couldn't handle, I figured out my 2018 word: STRONG.

Strong wasn't about muscles. It wasn't about the strength to stand up to people. It was about being strong enough to look even further within to see what was going on. It was finding the strength within to hold my boundaries and to learn to not feel guilty about or responsible for everyone else before myself. It was about feeling like the Lara I was WAS strong and it was time to own that, it was time to get out of my own damn way.

And I did. The incredible year that was 2018 is the subject of another story entirely, but here is what I hope everyone can take from this:

  • Your mindset and your subconscious can impact everything in massive ways. Don’t beat yourself up for the struggles you have because we all have them and there ARE ways to work through them.

  • You are strong and you are capable, even if it doesn't feel like it some days.

  • You might need to get out of your own way too, and you might need help doing it. I've needed a team of people and 10s of 1000s of dollars to just start that process, but it's been worth every penny!

What was your word in 2018? Will you choose a word for 2019? 

Reflection and setting intentions can be the kind of work we know we should do but avoid. Join me for a special call on New Year's Day at 1 pm. I'll be guiding participants through a series of prompts helping and supporting everyone to step into 2019 feeling empowered and on the right path for their unique selves, dreams and strengths. Sign up here - and don’t worry, if you can’t make it live, a replay will be sent following the live broadcast.

Making time to grow your business

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A lot of the business owners I work with come to me because they feel frustrated. They have goals they want to achieve but they're not achieving them because they lack the focus, clarity, and accountability to do it.

Some business owners are “all in” when it comes to clarity, accountability and reaching goals. They invest in a mastermind program or business coach and devote the time required to work on growing their businesses.  But then we have the "little bit in" business owners (and they're the more common ones). The “little bit in” business owners want change and growth in their businesses, but they spend so much time working IN their businesses (and believing there just isn't the time to step away) that they never make the time needed to properly plan, strategize or do the work needed to reach their business goals.

Are you a “little bit in?”

It’s really easy to be the “little bit in” person. You sign up for an online course and rarely or never participate in it, you join Facebook Groups and read everyone else’s posts, but never engage or you follow a business coach online, but never commit to signing up to work with them. The “little bit in” person doesn’t want to invest in a private package or high ticket price business coach full time, or they sign up for things and don't execute on any of it for a million reasons that feel very legitimate and honourable.

Make the time

We all have a lot going on and if you don’t invest the time needed to fully plan your business and work with someone who can help you reach your business goals then you will always be that “little bit in” person. You will never accomplish anything outside of your day-to-day unless you commit to taking a break and blocking off the time to do so.

* You need to take time away from your business to figure out what is next.
* You need to take a step back from the day-to-day and see what is working and what is not.

Whether it is through an accountability group, a business coach or another commitment – you need to go all in for yourself and your business in order to see change and grow.

The next time you feel the need to do something big in your business think about what it would take for you to be all in and not just dipping your toes in? How can you stop being the “little bit in” person and grow as a person and as a business? What would that do for you and your business? Is it worth it?

Ponder this and then leave me a comment and let me know how you make big changes and grow in your business. When you're ready to go all in, book a call with me or come and join the Biz Advantage. We're there and ready to help support you as you start making real things happen!

Are your goals and motivations the same thing?

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Recently, on a plane ride to Las Vegas I was seated next to a fellow entrepreneur who runs a marketing company. Naturally, we started talking about our businesses. When he found out I was a business coach, he asked how much I deal with business stuff versus how much I deal with feelings and emotions.

I told him that I dealt quite a bit with the feelings and mindsets of business owners - far more than I ever expected to when I started as a coach to be honest. As we continued talking about mindset, I could sense that he had lost his real motivation for running his business and he didn't really know why. Which brought up some key questions I often ask business owners – What is it that you want to achieve? What are your goals? What motivates you?

Sometimes your goals and what motivates you are not the same thing.

In his case, he wanted to make millions of dollars in his business - that was the big goal. He thought he knew why - to be successful, to have created something really incredible, to go bigger and better and make the work he was doing feel really exciting... but he didn't sound really excited about it and he couldn't verbalize why that was really meaningful to him. From where he was standing he couldn't understand his lack of motivation... from where I was standing, what he was dangling in front of himself as a carrot didn't seem like the thing he actually wanted to get him moving on a day to day basis.

WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT?

He felt like making millions of dollars would mean he had really succeeded.

Okay, but why? Was he feeling motivated on a regular basis? Making millions of dollars was a big goal that was going to take awhile... what was going to feel like a win between now and then?  

He didn't really know.

Was he happy? Not really.  His business was his life but he wasn't really feeling excited about it at the moment. The joy and excitement of entrepreneurship had kind of fizzled out.

So what WOULD make him excited... while he was working on making his millions?

The more we chatted the more we found that thing that actually excited him.... travel. He knew he could work from anywhere and he was in a situation where he wasn't really tied down to any one city at the moment. So... why wasn't he travelling?

He didn't know.

The only thing holding him back was making the decision to actually do it. (mindset!)

For him, seeing this motivation as a reason to reach his goals started making more sense than just working to make millions of dollars. His million-dollar goal wasn't tangible enough to get him jazzed every single day  – travelling is attainable and is something he can do now right now.

So, if you are in business and you tell people your goal is to make more money, but find that you’re not motivated (there is no wind in your sails) is it time for a reframe? What motivates you? What changes need to be made in order for you to reach your goals? How can you get excited about your business and what you do again?

Asking yourself what you really want is a conversation you need to constantly have with yourself. Checking in and asking yourself this on a regular basis will keep you on track and help you achieve your real goals.

Having business goals may seem like the way to stay motivated, but it isn't always (and that's not only OK, it's normal!!) 

And if you want help figuring it out, book a call with me - I'd love to talk about whether I'm the right person to help you figure that out, as well as how to keep moving forward towards reaching all your business goals!