leadership

Picking Your Life + Business Priorities

I wanted to quit my business.  

A few months after my daughter was born, I was struggling with the demands of nurturing a newborn and growing a coaching business.  I wanted to devote my heart, time, and energy into my passions: to develop a relationship with my daughter and to help my clients grow their confidence and their business.  

The problem was, I was trying to do the SAME amount of work on my business as I did BEFORE the baby while adding the motherhood learning curve of breastfeeding, sleep training, and bonding with my child on top of it.  No wonder I wanted to throw in the towel on the whole business thing. I had to do a reality check and redefine my priorities according the this new season of life I found myself in. Once I realized that during this short time, I wanted to GROW a foundation for my family first while maintaining my momentum for my business, that gave me the permission to create a business and life that worked for me.

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So I wanted to share with you a simple and powerful exercise to help you figure out your priorities for this season of life and business.  In a world where your roles, responsibilities, and demands are constantly changing, it’s helpful to set intentions in how you want to focus your precious time and energy.  Maybe you find yourself trying to balance a baby and a business like me, or maybe you’re feeling led to put your health first, or figure out how to become financially free.  Wherever you are, know that you don’t have to do it all, or do it all right now. Getting clear on your priorities, in terms of figuring out what you want to CHANGE to grow will help you feel more focused and less stressed.  

(btw -- if you’d like a full goal-setting guide with a similar exercise, I highly recommend using Power Sheets to help you evaluate how you’re doing!)   

1. Evaluate how you’re doing in each of the life categories on a scale from 1-10.  

(1 is “rock bottom, something has to change drastically and NOW!, 10 is I’m content and this is awesome!)  No need to overthink it, and your scale is personal to you, but this can help you determine how you’re *really* doing in each area.  

Health
Marriage/relationships
Work/Business
Family
Spiritual Growth
Finances
Friends/Community
Recreation/Hobbies

* Note: you can edit or add to these life categories as you see fit!  For example, you may have a day job AND a business, so you’ll want to separate those.  
 

2. Next, jot down what comes to mind for you in each of these areas and ideas of how you’d like to improve.  
The purpose of this is to capture how you’re doing in each area so you can get a better sense of your life as a whole.  

For example, under “health” could look like:
* I’d like to eat less sugar and move my body more.  
* Going to yoga on Fridays has been really enjoyable.  

Again, we’re just capturing details so it’s better just to be honest!  
 

3. Pick 3 areas of your life to focus on as your PRIORITIES!  Ask yourself: which 3 areas would I like to focus my energy on CHANGING?  

I like to use the “ABC” method and assign each category a letter according to priority.  

“A” priority means I want to focus my energy on CHANGING this area, by cultivating a new habit, learning new tools, letting go of things that don’t serve me, and growing!  

“B” priority means if I have time available, I can do something to change this

“C” priority means I can maintain this area and be okay!  Having “C” priorities recognizes that you have a finite amount of time, energy, and resources, and it’s OK not to do everything!  Plus, you probably have areas of your life that’s going well so it’s okay maintain what you’re doing.
 

4. Get clear on “How” you’ll work on your priorities.  

What are the first steps you want to take to get started on your goals?  
How will you keep yourself accountable to keep these priorities?  
What can you schedule into your calendar so you know WHEN you’ll do these things?  

Here’s where change starts to happen so it’s important to be clear on your intentions and make room in your schedule for it!  

Once you have clarity on what you’d like to focus on FOR THIS SEASON of your life and business (I like to do this exercise annually, and tweak it if necessary every 3 months), you’ll have the permission to NOT do it all.  Instead, you can focus on a few key areas that will make a BIG impact on your life.

With joy, 

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[Featured: Relevant Entrepreneur] Defining Your Core Values in Life + Business

[This post was originally published as a guest blog contributor for Relevant Entrepreneur .  Check out their site for resources to help you build a God-centered business.]

Have you ever felt lost in a sea of competitors?  Does the thought of making a million CEO decisions stress you out?  Are you wondering how you could create work/life balance, and create a personal brand that’s true to who God created you to be?  

When I started my business, I had a clear mission in mind -- to equip Christian women with the skills and tools they need to lead their companies well.    

I was on fire to pursue my calling, and loved every minute of it.  I created new resources and offerings, connected with like-minded ladies, and impacted people along the way.  It wasn’t until my family moved and I expanded my practice online that I started to compare myself to other coaches, get overwhelmed with decision fatigue, and began to doubt what I had to offer.  

This led to a business I no longer loved.  

So what happened?  In the hustle, I lost sight of honoring my core values.  Core values are the things that are unique, important, and true to you.  Core values are the way God specifically designed you.  Core values are characteristics of your beliefs and the motivations for your actions.  

The good news is when you identify your core values, you can align your actions to what’s most important to you, resulting in a fulfilled life and business.

This this article, I'll walk you through some soul-searching questions that will help you uncover YOUR unique core values. 

Head on over to the Relevant Entrepreneur to figure out how to create your guiding principles AND be connected with more amazing resources that will help you along your entrepreneurial journey.  

With joy, 

4 Empowering Money Mantras for Entrepreneurs

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my Facebook community,  “What’s one thing you WISHED more women in business talked openly about?”  

An overwhelming response was, “Money.”

That it’s okay to WANT to make more money.  That it’s okay to charge for your services.  That’s it’s okay to invest in getting support to help you lead the business you desire.  

Money can be a taboo topic, but as entrepreneurs, it’s super important to know your numbers and the financial health of your business.  I believe the more we talk about money (ex. mindset, tips, and best practices) the more comfortable we can be about developing healthy habits in our lives and businesses.  

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So this week, we’ll engage in a conversation around money as I share with you my favorite money mindset mantras to empower you to earn, invest, save, and give your money in a way that you feel comfortable with.  

1. Earning Money Mantra: The greatest service I provide my clients is in a paid capacity.

As entrepreneurs, we have the power to set our own rates and prices and earn as much or as little as we would like.  

When I first started out in this coaching business, I actually felt guilty for charging people to hire me.  “I’m so passionate about this, I’d do it for free!”  “This comes so easily to me, and I have to work HARD to earn money!”  These were some personal money stories that held me back from my earning potential in my business — as if work, enjoyment, and true service had to be mutually exclusive.  

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That’s when I realized that money is just an exchange — I provide an excellent service to serve my clients and in exchange they pay me for my guidance towards their desired result.  This allows me to be okay with earning money because it’s a vehicle to support my clients with my expertise and my family with additional income.  

Let me know below, does this mantra resonate with you?  What’s your take on earning money?   

2. Investing Money Mantra: The risk now is worth the return later.

You know the phrase, “You have to spend money to make money”?  This is true when you’re running a business because often times, we have to invest in education, equipment, and team members in order to keep things operating and help us get to the next season of business.  

Now I’m not an advocate for reckless spending, but I am a proponent of making wise choices to receive the support, structure, and systems you need so you can build a sustainable business EVEN IF it feels scary or outside of your comfort zone.  

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Sometimes what holds us back is waiting until we have things perfectly BEFORE we get help or delay investing in education until we have clients when the whole point of education, equipment, and team members are to help you make more money to work with more clients.  As long as you stay consistent and set things up properly, you will see a return on your investment.  

So whenever I *know* the next right step is to invest in the right coach/program, online tools, and team member, I remind myself: “The risk now is worth the return later.”  

How about you?  Does it feel scary or exciting for you to invest in what your business needs?  

3. Saving Money Mantra: The more savings I have, the more choices I have.

Your business profits are like your business savings accounts so they more money you have put away the more resources you have in case of emergency and the more options you have for your future growth.  

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Setting aside money for taxes, paying myself, and profits are money habits I’m cultivating so every dollar has a purpose.  The more savings I set aside, the more empowered I can be about the choices I make.  

4. Giving Money Mantra: Giving back my money blesses others AND keeps me grounded.

A common fear in business is the fear of success, or feeling like loads of money will change you and your character.  I believe the best way to kick this fear in the face is to be generous and give back a percentage of your business money at ALL income levels.  

The mantra, “Giving back my money blesses others AND keeps me grounded” motivates me to earn more money so I can give more away and ultimately see money as a tool and not an idol.  

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Money is a magnifier so what you do with little you can do with a lot so building a generosity habit helps you to be and stay heart-centered with your business.  

Money, money, money.  It’s an important facet of our businesses and as we evaluate how we think about it, how we interact with it, and how we feel about it, we can be more empowered to build habits to help us earn, invest, save, and give in our businesses.

If you’d like to dive deeper into making more money in the business you desire, then I encourage you to book a discovery call to see if working together would be the next right step.  

With joy,
 

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Cultivating a CEO mindset

Would you want to work for a boss like yourself?

That’s the question I ask myself if I need to evaluate my effectiveness as the CEO of my company.

Sometimes as service-based solopreneurs, we're responsible for doing everything -- from bookkeeping, to scheduling, to creating new products and services, and delivering those products and services.  So it’s important to acknowledge the fact that you're BOTH the boss of your business AND the service provider who does the work. So when I’m cultivating the mindset of a CEO, I’m pursuing clarity of a vision and mission that can bring out the best of my abilities in order to serve people well.

Then, I can give myself the permission to make decisions that honor what’s best for me as the coach/service provider.

In this week's letter, we're talking about cultivating the mindset of a CEO so you treat your business like a business (and not an expensive hobby, or just a ministry).  So let's dive in and talk about how to really take ownership of growing your company! 

1. If it works for a large company, it can work for your small business. 

For example, if I worked for a boss who expected me to work 24/7 and paid me very little, I would be resentful and on the fast track to burn out. So in my own business, I’m empowered to set profitable rates and set boundaries to protect the integrity of my work.

Another example would be investing in education to help me improve my business knowledge and skills. If I worked for a company, I would appreciate continuing education and opportunities to get better at my job. So I do the same in my business.

Ultimately, you are your own boss, so you have the freedom to be your best advocate.  The best way to cultivate that CEO mindset is to act "as if" you're already a CEO of a large company (if that's your vision).  That visioning power can help you gain clarity on what's important in order to build that caliber of a company.  

2. Set aside specific time to do CEO responsibilities.  

Having a CEO date with yourself is a great way to stay connected and on track with the vision of your business.  If CEOs of big companies take time off to work ON your business, rather than IN it all the time, then you can too.  

So here’s what that can look like.  Every year, take some time in December to reflect on what worked, and what didn’t work so you can learn from the wins and lessons from the year.  Then, you can dream big for the year and plan the projects you want to work on for the year.  

You can break up this rhythm every quarter, and then check-in weekly to see your progress.  I have a weekly CEO date with myself (typically on Fridays) to check in with my bank account, review what happened during the week, and catch up on anything that I may have missed.  This way, you’re giving yourself the space to execute on the plan.  

3. Understand that you're working for something bigger than yourself.  

Even though you are the BOSS, you're not alone or bear the burden all on your shoulders.  God wants to be apart of all aspects of your life, especially your business.  Sometime inviting Him into the process of visioning, making big decisions, and executing the day-to-day tasks can allow you to surrender to what matters most.    So being a CEO means partnering with God to build a business with a mission that truly exists to serve others and make a difference in the world.  

Of course, truly seeing yourself as a CEO means growing in your confidence and competence as a business owner.  

I'd love to hear below, how do you like to cultivate a mindset of a CEO?  If you'd like some 1:1 support to help you build a business that you LOVE, I invite you to book a discovery call for my coaching services to see how I can best support you.  

With joy, 

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How to choose the RIGHT goals to work on

Dear leader who’s a goal-getter,

Ever wonder if what you’re working on is actually bringing you closer to your goals?  The biggest challenge when it comes to goal-setting is choosing the RIGHT goals to work on.  As an entrepreneur, there are a million things you want to (or need to) work on, so it’s important to know where to focus your precious time, energy, and resources to make the biggest difference in your business.  When you choose to work on one aspect of your business at a time (meaning intentionally changing or growing it), you give yourself the permission and space to get it up and running WELL.  You’ll know what to say YES to, and what to say NO (or not now) to.  When you work on one aspect at a time, you get to be intentional with what you’re creating.  

There are five pillars of your business that when it’s all working together can become a well-oiled machine.  When you get familiar with the different “departments” of your business, you’ll get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not working so you can make the appropriate changes. 

Here are the 5 pillars of your business:       

  1. Visibility
    Visibility is the marketing of your business, and sharing your brand message to engage and build relationships with influencers, peers, and prospects.  This is super important because the reality is, if you no one knows who you are and what you do, it’ll be pretty hard to get clients.  Visibility can be through content marketing through social media, blogging, and videos, speaking engagements, networking events, collaborations and joint ventures, guest blogging, podcasting, and which ever medium and method you prefer to provide value to your community.  

    Do you have a clear and compelling brand message that you’re sharing on a regular basis?  
    Are you building relationships with influencers, peers, and prospects in a way that you enjoy?  
     

  2. Sales
    These are the actions you take to convert people who are interested in what you offer, into people who say “heck, yes!” to buying it.  Sales activities can range from offering free assessments, having a discovery call, hosting a webinar with a call-to-action at the end, asking for referrals, and following up with leads.  

    Do you have a sales process in place so you know how you’re converting leads into clients?  Are you making consistent sales?  

  3. Product Development/Creating Offers + Signature Services  
    Your products and services are how you work with your clients and it takes time and intentionality to create valuable products and services that contribute to your client’s transformation.  In this pillar, projects can include: market research, pre-validating and pre-selling your offers, pricing and packaging your offers, and actually creating the materials needed to work together.  

    Do you have a signature service that helps solve your client’s most pressing problem?  
    Do you have a product suite at different price points to help along your client’s journey?  
     

  4. Systems and Processes
    There are probably a lot of aspects in your business there have a step-by-step process and are repeatable.  For example, you have a process to onboard new clients, or a system of creating content to share on social media.  These can be documented (I just do it in a Google doc), and simplified with different tech tools and systems.  I like to keep things simple!  

    Are your back-end systems simple and organized?  Do they help with efficiency?  
    Do you have your processes written down so they are repeatable?  
     

  5. People/Team Development/Culture
    Once your workload starts to increase and you can sense the need to getting help, you can consider growing your team.  As your business grows, it’s important to focus on finding the right people you can trust to help expand your vision and support you along the way.  This is where knowing your vision and values, area of need, and creating ways to effectively communicate with your team will come in handy.  

    Do you need to outsource or hire team members to help you grow your business?  
    What are your company’s core values so you can create a cohesive culture?
    Do you have a way to communicate effectively with your team members?  

How to choose the right goals:

On a scale from 1-5, (1-nonexistent, 5-well-oiled machine) how would you rate your business in each category?  

Then, if you were to focus on ONE category to improve over the next 90 days, which one would make the BIGGEST impact?  

*This is where you can focus your efforts*  

Finally, brainstorm and select the projects, habits, and actions you’ll want to execute to help bring you closer to your goals.  This becomes the strategy to help you reach your goals.  

Ask yourself:
Given my resources, what projects will help me with my goals?  
What habits do I need to create to contribute to my success?  
How can I hold myself accountable to achieving these goals?  
(Who can I reach out to for help?  How will I reward myself?  Why do I want to do this?)  

There you have it!  When you know where to focus a MAJORITY of your efforts, you can have the freedom to work on what matters in the moment.  Don't forget to write your goals down in a visible place and consistently review them!  

I’d love to hear your go-to tips for setting and getting goals!  If you’d like personalized support and accountability with your business goals, you can book a discovery call to see if working together is right for you.  

With joy,

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