No. I am not training for a marathon. But I drove to Oklahoma City this weekend to watch one! My daughter’s best friend was running her first full marathon, and best friend’s Dad was running his first half marathon.
No. This is not a picture of me, my daughter, or anyone that I know, but it was one of many funny signs that spectators brought to cheer on the runners.
This marathon is a tribute to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and there were about 15,000 runners this year. There were also 10 runners running who hadn’t had a chance to finish the Boston Marathon. There were actually many others running in red socks to commemorate Boston.
So, how does this tie in to being a business owner?
You are in it for the long haul.
Starting a business or running a marathon requires dedication and commitment, and that isn’t going to happen overnight. Runners know that they have to train for that first 5K before jumping in and going for a marathon. They set smaller interim goals to start with and work towards that marathon by first preparing for smaller races. Then, they set longer race goals until they work up to a half marathon and then a marathon.
In the business world, you also set larger goals and smaller, interim goals. As you work toward the bigger goals, you are reaching the interim goals. When the going gets tough, reach out and find a friend, a mentor, or hire a coach to get you through. You’ve heard many times how you should never give up, because success may be closer than you think.
You have to work hard, especially when you don’t want to.
Training for a marathon requires hours and hours of running each week. For many, that means rising long before sunrise and getting those runs in before work. For others it may be later in the evening. I’m sure there are many days when you would just rather not lace up those shoes and hit the road, but the self-discipline will kick in and get you out there, easing you toward your goal.
As a business owner, there are many days when you would rather hit the snooze button or take the afternoon off. You may work many evenings, too, when it would be a lot more fun to sit and watch television or read a book. (and not a business book!) By focusing and doing all those little things that add up today, you can look forward to longer benefits in the future after your business is successful and thriving.
The growth comes from the journey, not the destination.
Runners have a saying: “We know 26.2 is the short part because we run.” The 26.2 miles of a marathon are just the culmination of the months of running in the heat, the cold, the dark, the rain, or the sweltering sun.
‘The ascent of Everest was not the work of one day, nor even of those few unforgettable weeks in which we climbed…it is, in fact, a tale of sustained and tenacious endeavor by many, over a long period of time.” ~ Sir John Hunt, scaled Mount Everest in 1953.
Because it is going to take some time to reach some of your business goals, you may as well at least enjoy the journey. It’s a time to learn all you can about everything pertaining to your industry and skills. Each successive step on the way makes you not only stronger, but that much closer to the destination. Think of all the things you’ve learned so far, all the fantastic people you’ve met, all that you’ve accomplished to date. Then realize that you will have so many more wonderful experiences in your business life. The journey is full of riches.
This weekend I stood in awe of the thousands of people who did what I can’t do. They ranged from youngsters to seniors, and from trim to really overweight. But they kept going and crossed the finish line; some at a fast pace and some a slow one. But they finished.
Monday morning I asked myself, “What is keeping me from achieving the hardest thing in my business?” I want to feel that same joy that those people felt when they met their biggest goal!
What is keeping YOU from crossing the finish line?
Amy Kinnaird is a self-proclaimed Social Media Evangelist. Over the past 4 years she has spoken to dozens of groups, and taught hundreds of people how to use Social Media for marketing their businesses. She has over 30 years experience in marketing and software, and helps clients easily understand how to create workable marketing plans that are infused with today’s technologies. Her background includes 15 years as a Systems Engineer and Marketing Representative with IBM locally. Please visit her website at UnCommonsenseMarketing.com.
to learn more and connect with Amy.
How often do you feel run down, sick, tired and just too exhausted to lift another finger?
Do you ask yourself – is it time for me yet?
We are taught as children you are last. Everyone else needs to be taken care of first.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have gotten sick because of that philosophy. I always placed myself last. Colds, flu, sinus infections, and the infamous kidney infection that put me on my ass still did not teach me that I should be taken care of first. I was out of work and did not leave the couch for weeks.
My fear was – how could I say NO to anyone?
Would I be left out of the cool circle at work or unloved by family?
The thoughts would go round and round in my brain. As I sit and write this, I want you to know you are the most important person.
Without you, where would everything be?
Choosing to take care of you is very important. It is showing the love and care for you. Also, it allows for you to be front and center in your life and everyone around it.
As I took my first steps into the world of NO, the people closest to me were wounded and outraged. What the hell do you mean no? The first few times I had stomach aches and then as I became more comfortable in my own skin and realizing what was in my best interests, NO became a much easier word.
I understand that if I say yes, it means I will show up 100%. It doesn’t mean that I will not show up or show up and be exhausted or resentful that I am somewhere I truly do not want to be. You know that “YES” – the one forced out by guilt or manipulation.
If you are spending an enormous amount of time on your business, do you find some time for you?
In the beginning, I worked all hours of the day and night until I burned myself out. At that point, I really wasn’t interested in my business anymore because I was the walking zombie. Then I realized – after taking several days off – that I needed more fun and me time. Believe me, it will work wonders for your business, too.
Why? Because you will have recharged your batteries and given yourself some time to think of other things, therefore allowing new ideas to come to you about your business.
New ideas and thoughts create more business and it will center your focus. Prioritize taking care of you first. There is no shame in this action.
How can you help others if you yourself are not balanced mind, body and soul? Spend time alone to care and center yourself daily, to follow your true path. It is your destiny to experience life to the fullest and share your gifts with others.
Tricia Dycka uses her skills as a Reiki Master to work with clients world-wide as an intuitive healer. Her mission is to help others go from stuck to the next step and moving on to a new direction and finally……to freedom.
Meet Colleen Phillips of Pieces to Profit. She is a coach who (among other things) specializes in helping women entrepreneurs that are going through significant changes in their life. We’re thrilled to interview her and let her share with Wickedly Chic readers her expertise and how she may be able to help them.
Colleen, please tell our readers what made you decide to start Pieces to Profit and go into business for yourself.
I wanted to make a significant difference in the lives and businesses of women. During my 19 year corporate career as a senior leader with hundreds on my team, I continuously saw opportunities for women. Opportunities for them to build skills and set boundaries, improve self-confidence and have the ability to shift and change when unexpected changes occurred in the work place, in the home or with their health.
I decided to start my own business after I found myself widowed when my 39 year old health conscious non-smoking husband died in 2004 of lung cancer. I found that my demanding corporate career no longer worked as a now single mother of a 3 year old. In late 2006 I went into business for myself. I needed to create my “new work normal” while being a dedicated mother.
I chose to go back to school and get credentialed as a coach because I love to coach and help people and businesses grow. It is rewarding when clients surprise even themselves when they take actions, big leaps and achieve more than they even they thought possible.
Now, I coach my private Pieces To Profit clients and am an executive coach and leadership training consultant for several large corporations. I am also happy to say my now 11 year old son is happy and well adjusted and I am engaged to a wonderful man.
By using my Pieces To Profit system personally and using it with my own clients it has been a rewarding experience.
On your website, it mentions finding purpose, being empowered and boosting profits. Many women starting businesses would love to achieve all three. What kind of services do you provide to clients to help them reach their goals?
1. I provide my “Pieces To Profit” system. It includes 5 main steps that support women in finding purpose, being empowered and boosting their profits. Each step in my system is unique and each step builds upon each other. Every client receives their personal Pieces To Profit coaching system when they become a client and my system has been highly valuable in my clients achieving their goals.
2. I provide one on one coaching in person, via the phone or Skype. I also provide individual or group training as needed on leadership, time management, stress management, change management, communication, courageous conversations and customer service.
3. My clients all have access to my online coaching management system that includes valuable resources and one on one electronic communication with me in between our coaching meetings.
It seems that many business owners feel as though they want to make a lot of money but already feel as though they have invested enough in their businesses. Why do you feel as though it is important to work with a coach?
A coach can take you from good to great! A coach is invested in YOU and your goals and creates an environment of clarity, accountability, support and structure. You can potentially achieve far more with a coach than without.
If you are someone that is achieving everything you want in business and in your personal life and have no further aspirations, then I would say that you may not want to spend the time or money investment on a coach. However, if you want to grow your business, improve your life and be the best you that you can be, then in my opinion it is an incredibly important and worthwhile investment.
What one piece of advice do you have for entrepreneurs that are just starting out or are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur?
Have a rock solid business plan, set milestones and work the plan!
In addition, I am happy to extend a complimentary 30 minute “get acquainted” call to your readers so they can learn more about my services and see if we are a good fit to work together. They can send me an email at email@example.com.
Colleen Phillips is a dynamic executive and business coach who works with women and men around the world. She truly is the epitome of a successful modern woman with a vibrant home life and thriving business, but it wasn’t always this way. When Colleen was 40, her husband passed away from cancer. Left with a three year old and demanding corporate career, running a multi-million dollar business unit, she had to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. Feeling overwhelmed, sad and scared she did her best to “try to keep all the pieces together”. As hard as she tried, she began to realize she had to find new ways to live and work. It was an overwhelming and heartbreaking situation to say the least, but Colleen’s journey back from the chaos helped her create the powerful step by step Pieces to Profit system. Colleen discovered how to go from fear to fearless and have the autonomy to live the life, do the meaningful work and make the income she always wanted.
Using the Pieces to Profit System that she developed to transform her own life and business, Colleen’s clients are also able to have more energy and focus, save time, make more money and feel outstanding.
Wise wise words from Kelley Moore at See Your Possibilities.
Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
As I was preparing for another day in my office over the weekend, I found myself reflecting on the tough spots in my work world over the past week (okay…the past few months really, if I’m 100% truthful!) I realized after a bit of wallowing and stewing that I could continue to stress or I could practice what I “preach” and choose different thoughts.
Man, that’s not easy! …choosing different thoughts.
It actually takes concentrated effort, pure intention, and repetition, repetition, repetition. It also takes kindness and compassion. Once I determined the effort required, I wasn’t sure if I was up for it. I realized I was already pretty worn out and defeated. Admittedly, I wasn’t really digging how I was feeling, mentally or physically. So I asked myself, “Girl, what’s the worst thing that can happen if you try something different? You’re already tired, so what’s “more tired”? You’re already frustrated, so what’s “more frustrated”? You may as well go for it.”
So, I decided to go for it. I decided to put forth the mental, and sometimes even physical effort to rid myself of my “stinkin’ thinkin’”. Physically, I stood up and threw open the window of my office and found I could hear the voices of my daughter and husband as they worked the soil in the yard to create a bed for our new garden. They were talking about growing carrots. I immediately remembered a parable my wise Mom shared with me years ago.
Then, like now, I was facing tough times. I called Mom to groan about how things were so hard for me. I was complaining and whining about how I would never succeed. I was tired of fighting, tired of struggling, It seemed like when I would solve one problem, a new one (usually much bigger!) was right behind it. Life seemed really, really hard. I was tired and frustrated.
Mom listened for a bit and then told me to go grab three pots of water and place them on the stove to boil. She had me put a carrot in one, an egg in the second, and ground coffee beans in the third. I thought the old gal was nuts. What in the world did all this have to do with me being ready to just give up?
Mom just lovingly told me to leave the pots alone for twenty minutes and then call her back.
I decided to humor her, expecting to be able to add her foolishness to my growing list of things to moan and groan about. I would have three dirty pots to add to my already full sink of neglected dishes and more ammo for martyrdom.
When I called Mom back, she told me to fish out the carrots and put ‘em in a bowl. Then the eggs in their own bowl. And finally, the coffee in its own bowl.
“What do you see?”, she asked me.
“Seriously? Uh, carrots, an egg, and coffee”, I sarcastically replied.
Mom had me feel the carrot. It was mushy and soft. She had me break open the egg. The shell cracked easily and inside was a very hard-boiled egg. Lastly, she had me taste the coffee. Mmmmmmm…it was strong and rich…just like I like it.
“So, what was the purpose of all this, Mom?”, I asked. “To get me to slow down long enough to enjoy a cup of coffee?”
Mom explained to me that each of the objects had faced the same adversity…boiling water. Yet, each had responded differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg went in fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid center, but after sitting in the boiling water, its insides became hardened and its outside easily shattered. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the water, they changed the water.
Mom asked me, “Which are you, Kelley?”
“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or coffee beans?”
That got me thinking! Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and loose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after hardship (financial worries, car trouble, relationship challenges, a break-up, a death, or some other trial) have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, the bean releases a rich aroma and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better. You change the situation. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, the bean takes itself (and stuff around it) to a whole new level.
WOW! I vowed to remember the true awakening gift of a cup of coffee.
Think about it…how do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
I have no idea where Mom got that idea years ago. I am just so grateful she shared it with me. I have no idea how I lost sight of my intention all those years ago to live my life as a coffee bean. I am just so grateful I was open to the reminder.
TODAY–May each of us cultivate the coffee beans within!
The University of Illinois calls Kelley a “powerful relationship strategist.” She calls herself a “Marine in Mom’s clothes.”
Kelley began her career in service to others by serving our country as a member of our nation’s most elite fighting force, the United States Marine Corps, where she developed the values necessary to succeed in any environment and began to truly believe that each of us possesses a deep, internal wisdom that allows us to access the resources we need at exactly the right time to achieve whatever mission we choose.
As a Performance Coach, Kelley works with key executives to recognize, accept and develop their inherent potential and see their unique possibilities.
Her specialty is supporting these powerful leaders as they acquire the knowledge, skills and wisdom that enables them to be more productive, self-directed and passionate in their personal and professional lives.
Kelley has the ability to speak the language of every person in an organization, from the CEO to the front-line “troops.” A former non-profit executive, an award-winning sales and marketing consultant, a business owner, a Professional Behaviors and Values Analyst, and a Mom to two active and creative girls, Kelley brings a blend of education, insight, sound principles, and FUN that is crucial to success in today’s business environment.
As I watched the Olympics, I was struck by the stories of the participants (whether they won a medal or not) of how they trained, how they got to the Olympics Games, how they came back again and again, and just how willing so many were to do whatever it took. They all had stories to tell.
Some of the commentators were saying they had made “sacrifices.” That is simply not true. It was something completely different.
If you look at them with envy wishing you had that same type of focus or commitment, wishing will not make it happen – it did not for these athletes.
I recall a story of a woman at a concert hall listening to a pianist playing a beautiful concerto. She turned to her friend and said, “I wish I could play the piano like that!” Her friend turned and looked at her and said, “No you don’t, because if you really meant it, you would be taking lessons and practicing 8 hours a day. It takes practice, commitment and a good teacher, not wishing.”
An Olympic athlete has talent – ambition – practices his/her skill, and has coaching to help reach the goals.
It’s the same being an entrepreneur running your own business – there are decisions to make every day and those decisions can change everything. Those decisions make the difference between a hobby job and lucrative business.
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses and I have come to the conclusion there are three kinds of entrepreneurs:
1. The one who does nothing. She has an idea and just wishes and hopes she could make it work and have a successful business. She is the “Wantrepreneur.”
2. The one who does everything half-heartedly with the trial and error method. She tries to make it work flitting from one business model to the next and associates herself with others in the “misery loves company” camp. She is the “Dabbler.”
3. The one who is willing to do whatever it takes. She creates a business that makes money and is willing to learn how to run it even if she makes mistakes along the way. She makes decisions, takes risks, listens, educates herself, does research and implements in a timely manner and surrounds herself with positive people. She is the “True Entrepreneur.”
When I tell people about all three they get enthusiastic about #3 and all want to be just like her – staying motivated and plowing through the obstacles in front of them. And then a few months later they’re right back where they were at either #1 or #2, wantrepreneuring or dabbling.
It’s a vicious yo-yo cycle of business. You keep thinking the next new idea will work – and when it doesn’t you’re back to square 1 or 2 and it yo-yos all over again.
If you truly want to be the one who is willing to do whatever it takes, you’re going to have to make some decisions. That’s right, decisions! To decide means no turning back or making excuses. And you’ll need to start with these:
1. Make sure you’re passionate about what you do – or else you will not have the commitment to follow through. That means don’t choose what’s safe, choose what comes from your heart and is still monetizeable.
2. Get rid of the toxic people in your life and surround yourself with positive people who challenge you in a good way – and support your choice.
3. Create a game plan. Start with where you want to be in 3 years and be honest with yourself about where you are right now. Work backwards – what are your milestones.
4. Put your plan into action. Start somewhere even if you don’t know how. Saying you don’t know how is a convenient excuse.
5. Hire the right coach who understands your business and believes in you even when you don’t. And be coachable, willing to listen even when you don’t want to.
6. Be persistent – it takes practice. Coming up with a product is not creating a business. It takes time and energy to create an empire.
7. Be willing to take risks. Being an entrepreneur requires risk taking.
8. You must change. You can’t continue doing the same things you’re doing now to get where you want to go. To break through you must change how you think.
9. Take a stand for who you want to become. Be confident in your abilities and your ideas.
10. Be honest with yourself. Are you doing all you can, or is there more?
Mastery requires your full attention and focus. Are you ready to do whatever it takes or will you be a yo-yo entrepreneur, it’s time to decide once and for all.
Jane Button has a passion for helping creative entrepreneurs turn their invention, product idea, creative hobby or craft into the business of their dreams. Calling herself a “born entrepreneur” Jane’s first company started in her basement as a cottage industry and went to a National Brand name as a multi-million dollar corporation. When creative business owners began asking for her advice, Jane started her freelance design, consulting & coaching business.
Jane loves the freedom and opportunity that comes with being an entrepreneur and is a champion for creative entrepreneurs in the apparel, sewn product, knitting, jewelry and creative product / craft industry. Jane has worked with The Pleasant Company (now known as AMERICAN GIRL® , Disney ®, Brass Key, Nordstrom, various catalogs, specialty boutiques and department stores, and numerous creative entrepreneurs who want to launch new products or start new businesses from scratch.
She has been featured in Barbara Wright Sykes books Pricing Without Fear and Do You Sew for Profit? as well as self published her own books for entrepreneurs;been a speaker at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo and other events. Jane freely shares her information in her seminars, workshops and books to help other creatve entrepreneurs learn to be successful.
Understanding the creative process is a key to Jane’s success with her students. Because Jane does not believe in the “starving artist” concept her goal is to show creative people how to profit from their passion and fantastic creative ability.
Meet Mary Joyce. She is a Life Purpose Coach, Speaker, Writer, Mentor and Trainer and lives in the UK.
1. Mary, tell us about what you do and what made you decide to go into business for yourself.
I am passionate about helping others reach their full potential and get their gifts out into the world. So many people give up on their dreams when they hit the first hurdle. Having someone to guide you and show you how to do it makes it much easier to achieve your vision. I believe we all have a divine purpose and it’s our responsibility to share our unique gifts/services with the world.
I have a unique gift of seeing greatness in someone and helping them to recognize it in themselves. We work together to get clarity. I help my clients achieve what they are setting out to do and assist in setting up systems and processes to help them get there.
Previously I had worked for others and shared so many great money making ideas. I found whichever role I was working in that I naturally stepped into the leader’s role. I helped them grow their business using my ideas. So I thought to myself, “if I can do this so easily for someone else why not do it for my myself?” Because I have young children, the flexibility of running my own biz suits my family’s needs.
I started out running offline group life coaching programs in my local area here in the UK. I had always planned to bring these workshops online to reach more people. I set up an online group-mentoring program for new biz owners. In the process, I discovered many of the challenges new business owners face is the technical side of their biz. The “How To stuff”. The more I did online, the more I found that people were asking me how I did it They wanted me to mentor them and show them how to set their business up so they had more time and could avoid the overwhelm of trying to figure everything out themselves.
For your business to run successfully especially if you are selling products/services you need to have systems in place:
· To bring clients in
· Build a relationship with them,
· Offer value with a free offering/sample
· Create an online presence through social media
· Have a process for taking payment
· A fulfillment process to deliver services etc.
It makes me really annoyed with those who say that they “make $50,000 in a weekend.” That is very achievable but what they fail to tell you is how long it took them to figure it all out in the first place and get all the resources in place to be able to achieve that.
2. I’m fascinated by your FREE book, “50 Resources Every Business Queen Needs to run her Successful Service Based Business”. You talk about your book helping people to automate their business when they aren’t there. Tell us about that.
It’s about setting up systems in your business such as automating social media updates, online schedulers, scheduled emails, blog posts, newsletters, teleseminars/trainings, auto responders & sequences so when someone signs up for your free gifts or products, you are building a relationship with them through regular contact.
So much of the admin in our business can be set up once and then forgotten about. With the resources available to business owners nowadays, it’s really easy when you know where to find them to set it all up. In my book I don’t just list a whole bunch of resources, I actually tell you exactly what they do and which one best suits your business according to size and what you want to achieve. I also share tons of business building and client attraction tips through out the book.
3. What other types of programs do you have that can help entrepreneurs?
Launching in August 2012, I have a 6 week Resources Queen Business System E-course. Those who download the FREE book will be on the priority list and will also get lots of related bonuses. The e-course will walk you through all aspects of setting up your business using time and energy saving resources.
This will free you up to make more money and serve more clients. So once you’ve completed the e-course you’ll have all the systems in place to be able to deliver your services with huge parts of your business working for you automatically. NOW you can focus on what you do best – getting your gifts out and serving people.
4. Is there one piece of advice that you can give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out and really want to grow their businesses?
Educate yourself by reading marketing/business books, get yourself a business mentor or sign up for a business building course. I’ve spent years and 1,000’s of pounds accumulating my knowledge. Don’t waste loads of time trying to figure it all out yourself.
Mary Joyce aka ResourcesQueen helps purpose led entrepreneurs discover how to save time energy & money using proven resources so they focus on serving & doing what they LOVE. Get her FREE book, 50 Resources Every Business Queen Needs to run her Successful Service Based Business.
Wickedly Chic readers, meet Cyndi Fine. She helps people unravel the knots in their life. Moving them from Stuck to Unstoppable.
1. Cyndi, please tell our readers about your business and what gave you the idea to go into business for yourself.
Back in the day, as the saying goes, 30 years ago there weren’t a lot of “jobs” doing what I do. I like to call myself an “Accidental Entrepreneur”. After going to college, traveling, and living overseas, I returned home to Chicago and discovered BodyWork and Oriental Medicine. I became obsessed with the Brain, the Body and all the life skills we should have learned in school, but didn’t. When we moved to a smaller city, my only option was to go into business for myself. That involved a lot of speaking for purposes of education and marketing, which I came to love and continues to be a key part of my business. In 1980 the pertinent topic was “Stress Management Tips” which is still a “Hot” topic.
2. Your website talks about CranioSacral Therapy. Can you briefly explain this to us and how it can help people in their lives?
CranioSacral Therapy Rocks!
What you really need to know is that it can be like magic, deep and profound. CranioSacral Therapy is a light touch approach that releases deeply held tension patterns in the body thereby relieving pain and dysfunction. In my office I specialize in working with clients who might be dealing with stress, chronic headaches as well as TMJ dysfunction (not necessarily all at the same time, although often that is the case). This approach allows you to self heal and breakthrough to a new place. It engages your body, mind and heart. This work is the foundation of all I do, whether it is hands on or the ‘virtual’ work.
3. What kind of services do you offer and do you have any new offerings in the works?
I love problem solving, that is really what I bring to all that I do. I work intuitively to help people get unstuck. I love to as a client said “help remove the hidden barriers, recognize my inner talk, and gain clarity. Integrating pieces of life and business to move forward into success.”
This is what I call “Getting on the Road to Unstopp-Able”. I offer services of CranioSacral Therapy (as we just talked about above), as well as Bodymind Coaching and BrainSparkle sessions, available in person or virtually. I have various packages, and all the work I do is individualized for the client.
A highlight of my business is speaking. I offer short workshops/ playshops and full day retreats. My presentations include A Vision Board Workshop – your life through collage, Laughter is the Best Medicine, a Woman’s Day Away as well as seasonal workshops. I also customize presentations for businesses and groups to meet their needs. As I mentioned a frequent topic is “Stress Busting”, with techniques to shift the emotional energy expenditure around it. Turning Burnout/Meltdown to Breakthrough.
4. There are a lot of people who are thinking about starting their own business. What one tip do you have to share about becoming an entrepreneur?
Don’t let yourself get caught in the “Perfection Triangle”.
If we wait for things to be perfect, they might never happen. A few years ago, I was an owner of a small woman’s gym with a partner. To keep ourselves moving forward, our saying was “for now”. We shared a smile and a laugh and kept on moving. Whenever possible, take a breath, inspired action, and cherish the moment:)
Cyndi enjoys introducing herself as a BodyMind Talk Show host. She believes that everyone has their own show and she loves helping them tune in to listen!! Cyndi has been working in the Health Industry for over 30 years as a Certified BodyWork Therapist and a BodyMind Coach. She is the winner of the National Sports Massage Award for her work at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece.
An energetic and motivating speaker, Cyndi has lead workshops on relaxation, stress management, the importance of touch, CranioSacral Therapy, Art and Soul, Laughter is the Best Medicine, taught anatomy and ethics to other professionals, and more. Cyndi’s favorite things are to create, encourage, brainstorm, inspire and most of all embrace those moments that make you laugh out loud.
Meet Aly Walansky this week. Aly is a very popular blogger (Star Magazine rated her the hottest blogger on the internet last year) and she writes about everything from beauty & fashion to love and food. You can visit her daily at her website, a little Alytude.
1. Aly, every time I read about what you are up to, I’m fascinated. You have your toes fully immersed in fashion, food, love and everything in between. What are you working on right now?
A little of everything! I have pretty varied beats – I write about food and travel for some outlets, beauty for others, budget shopping for others, and then spa-ing for yet another. There’s days that I’ll have one assignment on a roundup of couples toys, and another on skin cancer awareness. I’m never bored!
2. I have to ask…what’s hot hot hot and affordable in fashion this summer? Wickedly Chic readers don’t want to miss out on anything.
A loaded question! There’s a lot of affordable ways to embrace every trend… I can say I live out my summers in maxi dresses (sometimes with no bra under!!!), you’ll never see me without a pedicure. That’s about as important a part of summer grooming as washing your hair and shaving your legs!
3. You’re a senior editor for the LovingYou website. Let’s say you are looking for true love and can’t find it. In your opinion, where do you think that people go wrong?
I think the place where we go wrong is that we TRY. We become someone we aren’t in order to achieve the ideal of meeting this person we think is right for us (but probably isn’t) — just be yourself, and the rest will come.
4. There are a lot of would-be or start-up entrepreneurs out there. If you had one piece advice to share with them, what would it be?
Sort of the same as the relationship question – but honestly, just, stick with it. There were a lot of years I was doing random temp jobs just to be able to make the rent. It’s hard work. It’s A LOT of work just to make it look easy – but if you are doing something you love, it’s worth it!
Aly Walansky created A Little Aly-tude on SheKnows.com in 2006, as one of the first well-known beauty and style blogs on the Internet. Over time, it became a foremost source for advice, tips, reviews, and commentary across the lifestyle genre.
Her writing is coveted across the Internet, where she holds several posts including beauty and fashion editor for MyGloss.com, senior editor for LovingYou.com, style columnist for SheKnows.com and a a contributor to publications ranging from Huffington Post to StyleUnited to New Beauty Magazine.
This week, we’ve snagged some of Jennifer Shelton’s time to share her business with our readers. Her website, FemCentral, is one that you are definitely going to want to know about…and visit often.
1. Jennifer, you have one of the coolest websites, FemCentral. Can you tell Wickedly Chic readers more about it and how you decided to start this site?
Three years ago, I attended a spiritual retreat center in Charleston, SC, which is about 6 hours from my home. This center offers weekend retreats and shorter classes throughout the week. While there, I met many people from my area, and thought it would be a great idea to start a similar center closer to home. I had been administering and directing informal education programs for years, but always for other people, on subjects that were of little interest to me. This seemed a great way to match my passion with my skills.
Later that same year, I was part of a massive university lay-off. While I didn’t have the cash to start a brick and mortar institute, I had the money to buy a domain and start a virtual one! And, FemCentral was born.
2. There is always a Theme going on with FemCentral. How do you come up with these?
The “theme of the week” is a way to keep the feel of a “retreat.” Instead of covering a different topic each day, I spend an entire week on a topic. I will approach it spiritually one day, psychologically another, maybe scientifically, or write a personal post about my experiences. When I started, I planned out almost the full year’s worth of topics. Now, I sometimes don’t know, on Friday, what the next topic will be when the week starts on Sunday! One benefit of working for yourself is being able to go with the flow. I spend a lot of my time in virtual community groups, and the topics usually grow out of what people are discussing. Or, what’s in the news. Or, around a significant historical event that may have happened that week. Ideas come to me from all over!
3. Your site talks about your life’s purpose. Can you share with our readers what kind of services that you offer that can help all of us move through life more productively?
In addition to being FemCentral’s main writer and editor and webmaster, I am also an astrologer. On Fridays, I approach the week’s theme from an astrological perspective (or, I discuss anything significant happening in the stars at that time).
An astrological chart is really a personal “user’s manual” and kept help us to use our “model” more effectively.
I offer a “life purpose” email subscription program that helps subscribers get in touch with their astrological North Node, which is the guiding principle in our lives.
I also offer traditional chart readings, “mini” birthday and New Year’s readings, and follow-up phone consultations. I’m just now finishing a class I taught on “synching your life with the Moon,” which used the principles of mindfulness, combined with the signs and phases of the Moon. It was highly successful, and I plan to offer it again in the fall.
4. Please give us one valuable tip that you have for those out there who are entrepreneurs or who are thinking about starting their own business.
Follow your passion and persevere! Success rarely happens overnight but if you have the passion, you have the fuel to keep going until you create the success you deserve!
We’re chatting with Lauren Solomon this week, trusted image expert, best selling author & media personality. If you are looking to perk up your image (and yourself), you’re in the right place. Lauren gives Wickedly Chic readers free advice on looking like the best “you” possible.
1. I love how your website says “Be Nice to Yourself.” It seems like women beat themselves up often and spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others. What is an easy way to start being nice to yourself?
I believe the easiest way to be nice to yourself starts with the first steps in your day. Right now, most of us wake up, look in the mirror and think OMG, how am I going to get myself together and get out of here in an hour or less. Then we go to our closets and are faced with the three witch sisters – should, would and could. I should wear this but…I would wear this if…I could wear this if only…and our day is already hanging by a thread. We’ve got 30 minutes to go and we’re still not dressed.
While being nice to ourselves is an on-going process, a lifestyle, a belief system, we need to begin somewhere and I believe this is the place. Wake up gently. Breathe in before you breathe out! Take the first breath of the day for yourself. You can’t possibly be of value to anyone else if you can’t first take proper care of yourself. Breathe in. Do whatever helps you welcome the day and the discoveries ahead – meditate, stretch, walk, swim – whatever it may be. Or, simply breathe in and set your intention for the day. Look in the mirror and be your own best friend. Be kind. Be loving. Be unconditional. Then, go to your closet which you have filled with “Magic Outfits.” These are the outfits that you reach for when you have to dress to impress. They satisfy every need in your life and lifestyle. You cannot make a mistake. Whichever you choose will work overtime for you. It will serve as your supporting cast and remind you of the star you truly are in your own life and the lives of those you touch throughout your day. When you close the door behind looking and feeling your best, you open the door for the best of everything to come your way.
2. How did you get started with your business and what made you want to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve been practicing Image since I was three when I got my first make-up kit. Dressing people, styling them and showing them the beauty and potential I saw in them was something I’d always done for fun. It made people feel good to look good. And, I loved making people smile. So, win-win-win.
I realized early on in my corporate career that I was never going to be a good corporate soldier. I come from a family of medical doctors and entrepreneurs. I do believe it was always inside me to find my own way, to create my own path. So, I did. As part of a Business School assignment, I took my hobby and designed my ideal career. I presented it to my classmates, 41 senior corporate executives of every Wall Street firm imaginable. When they raised their hands and asked, “when do we start?” I knew I was on to something real. Two years later when Chase Manhattan Bank created an in-house position for me as Vice President of Professional Image Development, I knew it was really real! Even working in-house for a mega-organization, I was running my own shop. It was the beginning of a life filled with adventures in creative entrepreneurship.
3. Your work involves image consulting. Can you share with Wickedly Chic readers one tip that they can use to create a basic outfit that would look good on anyone?
Yes, my work is 1000% image. And, it is always about understanding the basics of how we show up in every aspect of our lives. Funny enough, creating one great GO-TO basic outfit may be simple, yet, it’s never as easy as it may seem.
So, here’s how I do it. We start with three pieces – 1. top, 2. bottom, 3. topper. #1 – The top can be a simple tank, t-shirt or blouse. #2 – The bottom can be slacks, a skirt, long shorts. #3 – The topper is a third piece that polishes the first two. It can be a jacket, a sweater, a vest, a wrap or a shawl. Keep the top and the bottom in the same color. Keeping tops and bottoms in solids will give you the easiest and most opportunities to mix and match. Create a head-to-toe column of your best color – black, navy, gray, brown, tan, taupe, beige, burgundy, plum – whichever works best for you. Then complete the look with a topper that pulls the two together. In an ideal world, you can build a super classic, hard working wardrobe around a system of columns of color that all work together with only a few toppers. Most importantly, all three pieces must work for YOU. Then, add a rockin’ pair of shoes, a fun bag, your favorite jewelry and you’re out the door.
4. What programs do you have available now or ones that you may have coming up?
Right now, I’m focusing on my one-on-one work with clients who are serious about moving to their next level and showing up in a big way in their businesses and their lives. How you show up tells the world who you are, how to receive you and how to reward you. Once that message is clear from the inside-out and head-to-toe, opportunity can find you more easily. Periodically, I offer a 2-day makeover workshop in Costa Mesa, CA. I don’t currently have one on the calendar. The 10 year anniversary edition of my book, Image Matters! First Steps on the Journey to Your Best Self, will be available in a new e-format as well as hard copy in April, 2012. And, my new blog will be the very best place to come to find tips, tools, and updated visions of Image, Life and Style as I see them.