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Today I live a blessed life. I am married to the man of my dreams, I live in a beautiful home on the lake, have loving friends and family and the financial freedom to pursue my passions doing what I love in life. But it hasn’t always been this way.
I remember my mother telling me about the time when I was a little girl and when we didn’t have groceries or even milk. My grandmother would come over to make sure she had milk for me without telling my father because he was so proud. When we ate potatoes, we had to give the skins to our Labrador because we couldn’t afford dog food. My father was a roofer and many times he would not get paid. This was when he decided to join the Army.
In fact, when my father joined the army, we thought we were rich. The army gave us a beautiful apartment in Germany. I remember my mom saying how lucky we were because we could have a cleaning lady and our apartment really was beautiful. She loved living in Germany.
Then that dream ended when my father died. I was just six and my brothers were just four and two. My dad was a hunter and he had gone duck hunting to bring home Christmas dinner. He never returned – he drowned. It was December 19th, 1964 during Vietnam War.
My mother had to move back to Michigan to be near her family. She was able to pay cash for a small home with my father’s military life insurance. Between her widow’s benefits and driving the school bus she was able to take pretty good care of us. I still remember some really fun times back then even though we didn’t have much money.
But my mother wanted someone to take care of her. She was looking for her Prince Charming. What she ended up with was a monster — literally. I remember the night she introduced us to this man who she said would become our new father. I was terrified and cried myself to sleep that night.
Over the next nine years – our lives were a living hell and my brothers and I lived in constant fear and abuse. Although my mother did not protect us, I know today that she was doing the best she could. She was plagued by obsessive compulsive behavior – her way of numbing out – but this made her unavailable to us emotionally.
I grew up too fast and was given so much responsibly as a caregiver to my grandparents and my brothers at the same time. I also cooked, clean the house and was always out fundraising door to door helping raise money for the poor or to raise funds for our school. This was something I loved and was great at. It gave me confidence. I also learned that I loved helping others or leading a cause. I discovered this when I was just 12 years old.
Often when there is domestic violence, there is also financial abuse. When my mother finally divorced my step father, my youngest brother was in a foster home, she was homeless because my step-father had taken the equity from her home. She had lost all her government benefits, had no income and she had breast cancer.
By this time, I was on my own. Because I was technically a “war orphan”, I had free tuition to college and income from the government to help support me while I was in school.
But the Universe had another plan for me.
In my third year of college, I ended up marrying my own monster. He said loved me, but I knew in my heart that he was evil. He had been a professional student with three Master’s Degrees and needed to keep his green card. He had shown the signs, but because I wanted to be loved and taken care of, I thought I could change him and I married him anyway. I was just 19 and going back to the familiar.
Nine months later when I tried to leave the marriage he put me in the hospital. The detective was taking pictures of my broken and bruised face and asked me who would be picking me up. I had no one to call. I was all alone.
I was also all alone when I went to court for the criminal charges. Immigration had charges against him too and at the court house he was waiting for me. He jumped into my car and he threatened to track me down and kill me if I didn’t drop the charges against him. I believed him and dropped the charges.
Here I was. I had hit rock bottom. I was living in a subsidized town house with no income, no job, and a broken down car. Worst of all, I had lost my father’s legacy. The college education he had left me was gone and I really was all alone.
So how did I get from where I was back then – to where I am today? In that moment in my life when I had hit rock bottom, a miracle happened. I picked up the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill and it changed my life forever because I found my burning desire and it gave me hope, faith and I felt inspired. I learned about the Law of Attraction and how I could create any life I wanted if I just had a vision, did the work and never gave up.
Well that became the model for the rest of my life, because I am driven to succeed, a student of life, always learning and studying to improve and I never, ever give up when I have a dream.
My dream was to never be a victim again and to be financially independent. I was just 21. I found a job with tuition reimbursement, health insurance and a retirement plan as a clerk typist. Soon I realized that I was not only terrible at detail work, but it was sucking the life out of me and I had to do something else.
Because I still did not have a degree, I thought what else could I do? And then it hit me, I was great at sales. I had spent years going door to door raising money for the poor and the needy, I was always the top fundraiser at school when we had contests, and at 15, I had even worked making phone sales by calling from the phone book. I know it sounds terrible, but for me, it was fun.
I went to an employment agency and interviewed with two companies; a company that offered services where business owners trade services and a financial planning company called IDS. I took the job working with the business owners. I know today it was all part of a divine plan, because years later I would actually end up working for IDS and the contacts and experience that I gained in those early years would be the catalyst that lead me to becoming one of the top financial advisors in the country.
Although it may sound cliché, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. We each have chosen to come here with a divine purpose although we have no idea what it is. Our journey in life is to figure this out and it’s normally not easy.
At 25, I took a job selling Hondas and this was a major turning point in my life. Using my selling skills that I had acquired over the last 10 years, not only did I become one of the top earners in the company (earning six figures in today’s dollars), but I met my fabulous current husband who I’ve been married to now for almost 30 years. He came in to buy a car from me.
Over the next 20 years, I did do the work and I got smart about money, I became a Certified Financial Planner™ helping hundreds of people achieve their financial goals. I was at the top of my game – And then something happened – I had this feeling there was something more to why I was here – a purpose I was not fulfilling in my soul.
I realized that while helping my clients achieve their financial goals I often found myself helping them find their souls purpose and follow their dreams.
But what was MY dream? Well the Universe has a funny way of helping us get what we truly want when we make a decision.
What I did next changed my life. I hired a coach who guided me spiritually and what I discovered was helping my clients find their soul’s purpose and follow their dreams was actually my soul’s purpose and my dream. It’s what made me truly happy.
Because I had created a team and systems to so my business could literally run without me, at 48 I was able to sell my financial planning practice to my partner for one million dollars. This allowed me to follow my dream of helping women on their journey of self-discovery, healing, guidance, and building abundance and prosperity in their lives.
I founded a global online community called Smart Women’s Coaching® and my nonprofit, The Smart’s Empowerment Program with the intention of creating a community of women working together to reinvent their lives and grow wealth while following their passions and life purpose.
None of this was easy. In fact so much of it was very, very difficult, but when I look back over my life, I can now see that it was a series of steps in an ongoing process that I have used over and over to overcome my fears and manifest each dream. I actually call this process The Six Pillars of Awakened Prosperity System™ and it starts with the Dream, then Discovery, the Leap, the Plan, the Dance and finally Mastery.
All of it was perfect — the experiences, good and bad so that I could fulfill my life purpose. There are three very simple secrets that make this whole process easier so you can go to the next level in life, aligned in your true purpose and they are:
- Finding a mentor or a guide who has been where you want to go and following them. It takes 10 years or 10,000 hours to become an expert in your field – so shorten this journey with a guide. This could be a program even a book.
- Identify your tribe and surround yourself with people who love and support you and who will hold you accountable to your dream. Don’t do it alone.
- Learn how to manage your energy and mindset. So often we give up just before we reach success, or because of limiting beliefs or because we need to the tools to keep us inspired and able to finish what we start.
I am a contributing author in a book called, Thank God I, titled “Thank God I was Abandoned and Abused”. Now I look for the gift in every experience because it’s always there. The secret is never losing faith and trusting the process. Once you do, the magic begins to happen and life begins to flow.
Last week, we began updating our financial plan, and I asked you some questions about your personal retirement plan. Did it get you thinking? With over 80% of Americans planning to work at least part time in retirement to supplement their pensions, Social Security and savings, the idea of retiring to something – not from something™ is catching a lot of attention.
I am a huge fan of doing something you are passionate and talented at create income in retirement.
For the last 10 years, I have been telling people that are planning on living off their savings, that the most they should consider pulling from their investments to create income is 4% a year if they would like it to last for at least 30 years.
- This means that if you have $1 million saved at age 65, you would only want to pull $40,000 per year or $3500 per month.
- Well according to David Blanchett, head of retirement research at Morningstar Investment Management, “We have to question that 4% assumption“. He says that withdrawal rate would only give clients a 50% chance of their assets lasting 30 years. A 2.8% annual withdrawal rate is more realistic, he adds.
What this means is that if you have $1 million in assets, you should only be pulling $28,000 per year to make sure it lasts at least 30 years. This is certainly not a millionaire lifestyle!
I am not saying stop saving. By all means, continue to build up not only cash reserves, but start maxing out your 401(k) savings and IRAs. You are going to want to have as much cash as possible, so continue to invest.
The secret to building this type of retirement plan is starting early, so you can take advantage of the “time-value” of money. For example, to save $1 million by age 65 (assuming a very generous 10 percent annual rate of return), take a look at the different amounts you would need to save, depending on how late you started to invest in your savings:
Age Daily Savings Yearly Savings
20 $4.00 $1,460
30 $11.00 $4.015
40 $30.00 $10,950
50 $95.00 $34,675
What do you do if you don’t have “The Gift of Time” on your side? Then I suggest your access “The Gift of Experience“. By the time we are in our 50s, 60 and 70s, we all have amazing wisdom and experience that we can leverage to create income to supplement our retirement income. The key is finding out what we are passionate at and skilled at, and then creating a smart plan to generate income.
So why did I suggest last week was to “find your stuff” and to get organized?
- I want you to pull all your investment statements, pension statements, your social security statements so you can see what you have.
- Once you see what you have, you can work with a financial advisor or a financial calculator to see how much you will have out into the future.
- By doing this, you will be able to see how much you need to earn to create the lifestyle you want.
The key is to start somewhere. See where you stand today based on where you are. Then you can create a strategy. My strategy is to spend my winters living in Costa Rica or Panama where the cost of living is very low, and I can lead my retreats which I love, and have access to high quality health care at a fraction of the cost of what we pay here.
The old paradigm: “Retirement” is when you have enough INCOME and ASSETS so working is optional and retirement is affordable.
The new paradigm: “Retire to Something – Not From Something” by creating lifetime income (preferably passive) doing something you love to supplement your pensions, Social Security and savings.
Next week, let’s talk about different retirement income strategies. In the meantime, try to get a “picture” of what your retirement goals are as well as what the future looks like based on where you are today using all those statements you pulled out this week. Try using the financial calculator above and see what you find out.
Have you ever noticed how some things are just so challenging or uninteresting to do that they never get finished. Somehow they pushed aside, moved down on the “To Do” list, or simply drive us crazy because we simply don’t want to do them or we’re just plain bad at the task?
If this is happening to you, listen up! The last thing you want to do is to try and get better at something that is not your unique ability or something that you find totally challenging. I know when you were growing up, you heard your parents and teachers tell you, “Practice makes perfect.” But this simply is not true.
I learned at a very young age, that I was fabulous at sales and fund raising. I could entertain and cook Thanksgiving dinner for 20 family members when I was just 15, and that I was fearless when it came to standing my ground.
I also learned that I could not bake (I always wanted to improvise and that doesn’t work in baking), I was simply terrible with details and I could not stand to be told what to do.
Think of your childhood. What were you great at and what were you terrible at? Is it still true today? These are important clues. What was fun and what was total drudgery?
How many young people have gone into a career as an attorney or a physician only to please their parents and then end up totally unhappy and unfulfilled? I meet these women every day. Women who are reinventing, trying to find their passion in midlife, hoping to create income doing what they love to supplement their retirement or hopefully to create a new career at midlife.
My very first job was as a clerk typist at a very large company with 40,000 employees. It was a great opportunity. I had health insurance, 401(k), pension, tuition reimbursement…but I was miserable and I was lousy at it. I could have continued to work at this job trying to improve my skills and waiting for my 2 weeks of vacation each year.
Instead, I left after just a year to go into sales and I found out I was a natural at it. Later I transitioned to financial planning and got certified and used my sales and people skills to create a wonderful business where I helped hundreds of people create wealth, protect their families and create legacies.
What if I had stayed in that job as a clerk typist and tried to survive in corporate? All I know is I followed my passion and faced my fear. Back then it was all based purely on intuition. Today, I understand the secret to creating a joyful and financially rewarding life, and here are my top 3 secrets here:
- Identify what you love doing and are passionate. Do this in your personal and business life. If you have forgotten your unique abilities and passions – ask others what you were great at when you were young. How do they remember you? Write these things down.
- Now identify all the things you are terrible at, things that drain your energy, that destroy your confidence. Is it public speaking, sports, baking, paperwork, working with machinery or your hands? There are great assessments for this like www.kolbe.com that will help you get more clarity here.
- Now focus 80% of your time doing those things that you are great at and delegate, outsource and partner with others that are great at the things that you aren’t. This is such a simple solution and the 80/20 rule works every time.
I have always delegated everything that wasn’t my unique ability or found someone to partner with. Take a look at your business and identify all the things that you can outsource or even look for someone to partner with who complements you perfectly. I did this first with my partner, John, when I was a financial planner, and that’s how we created a million dollar business. I did this again last year with my client, Michelle, and now she is launching her own business.
We both got what we needed out of the year long relationship. It was a total win/win. I would love to hear from you on this topic with how you have done this yourself or any questions or challenges you may be facing. Post your comments and questions below. We’d love to hear from you!
Want to talk personally about your unique situation? Schedule your complimentary 30 minute Discovery Coaching Session now: www.talkwithkatana.com
Last weekend, my husband and I finally buried my mother’s ashes in the rose garden I created for her the summer after her death in 2010. All this time, her ashes have been stored in my china cabinet and for some reason, I had never ‘buried her’.
This spring, I noticed that the yellow rose bush I had planted in her honor had died. The garden center said that the yellow roses are not as hardy as other colors and that this is common. I took it as a sign that it was time to take care of this loose end.
We found a gorgeous rose bush and placed her ashes at the base. As the roots grow, my mother’s ashes will merge with this gorgeous rose bush. Did I say my mother’s name is Rose? It felt good completing this project. There was closure and a sense of peace.
Where in your life are you experiencing loose ends – things left undone or incomplete? If you are like many creative people – and I am one of them – you may be full of ideas, a great multi-tasker – with many projects going on at one time.
This kind of behavior creates an adrenaline rush and it can be very addictive. If you find yourself pushing deadlines to the last minute, running late, taking risks, you may actually be addicted to the adrenaline rush and not even be aware of it. It’s like a caffeine rush and it can become very exhausting, create overwhelm, drain your confidence and ultimately destroy your health.
In 2013, my motto became “Do Less and Enjoy More”. Below is the process I used to stay focused and confident. Consider taking out a sheet of paper or your journal and follow these steps below:
- Get a clear vision: What’s really important to you in your life, your family and with your soul? What really brings you joy and makes you jump out of bed in the morning? Not that adrenaline high, but the joy that comes from being present and feeling gratitude for everything in your life.
- Take a look at where your life needs attention: Take a look at your health, your money situation, your relationship with your family, your friends, how you show up in the world and how you are caring for yourself. What is draining your energy, your confidence and your happiness? What are you tolerating that is no longer serving you? What would you like to release, heal, change, shift?
- Eliminate: Look at everything on your plate and eliminating everything on the list that doesn’t even matter. What can you release – get rid of and simply let go of. This could be huge and simple. How many things do we have on our list that simply don’t matter, have any real benefit? Maybe it’s just a habit. This could also be stuff or people that we can simply release from our lives.
- Delegate: Are there things that you can ask someone else to do like cleaning the house, running errands, or work that you aren’t good at and could outsource to someone who loves it?
- Prioritize: You should now have a shorter list. Take a look at what’s left and prioritize in two areas.
- What are the things that bring you the most joy and that make you the most money? Now focus on these first. It will increase your energy and income immediately. You want to focus 80% of your time on this area.
- What are the things that are simply loose ends, unfinished projects, organizing, filing, bookkeeping, thank you notes, or just simplifying and creating systems. Schedule specific days to take care of these items.
If you would like help with getting clear on your vision and purpose, empower your relationship with money, build your confidence and clarity by creating systems to simplify your life and your business, feel free to book an initial Prosperity Coaching session with me. The first one is FREE so you can see what the process is like! www.talkwithkatana.com
Also, if you haven’t done so yet, take my free video course, “Breakthrough Your Fears and Step Into Your Brilliance“. It includes 100 Days of Inspiration and a 6 page workbook to help you build your confidence and create wealth! www.SmartWomensCoaching.com
Years and years ago, I started my first IRA when I was in my 20s. I am going to date myself, but it was back when interest rates were double digits. I still remembered how excited my husband and I were when we each invested $2000 into our Individual Retirement Accounts or IRAs.
A traditional IRA is basically an account that allows you to set funds away for retirement and the money will grow tax deferred, meaning you won’t have to pay income taxes on it until you take it out. In addition, you are able to deduct that investment from your income on your tax return. It’s a pretty cool deal especially if you start saving when you are very young.
Take a look at this chart on Dave Ramsey’s website called Junior’s Clubhouse that shows not only the power of compound interest, but the power of starting early. I was so excited to have found this chart. I suggest that you print it out and share it with all the young people that you know.
Secret of Compound Interest:
In the link above, basically the first person starts their IRA with $2000 at age 19 and stops at 26 (total investment is $16,000). The second person waits till they are 27 and continues to save until they are 65 (total investment is $76,000). At age 65:
- the person who invest $16,000 has $2.2 million
- and person who invested $76,000 has $1.5 million
Why is this? It’s because of the power of compound interest and starting early!
Those IRAs that my husband and I started at age 26, would be worth $28,000 today each at a 10% return. This is just one terrific way to accumulate wealth.
There are 3 mistakes that I see people make with their IRA accounts:
- The first mistake is to simply not have one. One of the big issues is see with many women is that they love to make money and they love to spend it. Saving let alone investing is not a big agenda item. If you are earning money and do not have a tax deferred retirement plan, I suggest going to your financial planner or your bank immediately and setting one up. You can talk to the advisor about the appropriate type of IRA because there is also a Roth IRA which does not get a tax deduction, still grows tax deferred and the income comes out tax free. The advisor can also help you select an appropriate investment vehicle for the IRA account. Sometimes you can set these up with very little money and even add as little as $100 per month. Just get started.
- The second mistake I see people making is not being diversified. Again, get some advise on how to invest your money. There are mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds that operate like a mutual fund by giving you diversification. The goal is to have variety of investments based on your age and risk tolerance. In addition, you want to look at the investment cycles. Right now, bonds have been on a 30 year bull cycle because of falling interest rates. Investing in bonds at this time could actually be very risky because when interest rates go up, bonds can lose a lot of value. So please get some advise from an expert and then re-balance your portfolio annually.
- The last mistake people make is with their beneficiaries. Just this week, I was reviewing my Self Directed IRA account where I own real estate and a non publicly traded stock. When I opened the account, the company was called Entrust. A few years later, Entrust was taken over by Quest IRA. To my surprise, Quest did not have my beneficiary designation on file. It always makes me chuckle when I see something like this happening to me because I am a Certified Financial Planner and should know better, right? So with all the consolidations and mergers, it’s really important to check out those beneficiary designations. IRAs avoid probate and in many cases when structured appropriately, the tax benefits can roll over to the recipient at death. If the beneficiary designation is not correct, it can have dreadful tax consequences.
So those are my 3 IRA tips: Start one — Diversify — Update those Beneficiaries.
I will go deeper on these topics in future articles. If you have any questions feel free to make a comment or schedule a complimentary consultation at www.talkwithkatana.com
As an entrepreneur, I absolutely love working from home. I spent my first 10 years working from my car, door to door in sales, and the next 20 in a corner office in corporate. My dream was to turn my vocation into my vacation, so I have created a new work environment that for me is perfect.
I live on a lake and am surrounded by gardens at the end of a private road, so I have peace and serenity. During the long winter months, I lead spiritual life purpose and adventure retreats to Costa Rica. My husband and I even have a villa in Panama five weeks out of the year…again, surrounded by rain forest, ocean and serenity.
This was no accident. My husband and I have worked very hard over the years to be able to live this lifestyle today. We created our first financial plan in our 20s, began investing into our retirement plans, and have been very thoughtful about our relationship with money.
Through my husband’s career, he has provided the health insurance and his retirement, includes a pension plan. These have been a foundational piece of our financial planning. This gave me the opportunity to take more risks and become an entrepreneur.
I think owning a business is one of the best ways to create wealth. It is not, however, for the faint of heart or for those with little or no funding. Studies show that many women use their savings, even 401 (k) plans where they are hit with penalties and taxes or even their credit cards to fund their businesses. To do this right, it will take planning, time and money to create a truly successful business.
Almost every successful entrepreneur has experienced all or most of these steps in creating a successful business:
- Worked very, very hard doing what others refuse to do to make it work.
- Stepped out of their comfort zone and take risks.
- Hired a consultant or coach who so they could “learn the system” saving years and years of trial and error.
- Experienced huge failures, lost money, made money, lost it again — but they did not give up, and they finally figured it out.
According to GoForFunding, many women entrepreneurs are an average age of 40-60 years old because they have had previous careers in other areas. Their primary goal is not monetary reward but rather personal satisfaction and community involvement. Many of them are educated and assemble into groups in order to pool business ideas and resources together. This is the idea behind our free Smart Women’s Coaching Community. You don’t need to do this alone. If you aren’t a member of our free community yet, you can join us now by visiting SmartWomensCoaching.com
Being an entrepreneur is very rewarding. I believe it’s one of the best ways to actually get paid to do what you love while making a difference in the world. The secret is:
- creating systems
- leveraging a team
- and creating a business that can run without you or at least virtually!
If you want to talk about your dream, feel free to schedule a complementary session with me at www.talkwithkatana.com This is my passion, and my purpose in life so I’d love to hear from you!
Let’s assume you have your fun list. The question then becomes, how do you make time for all of this fun, especially when our lives are already so busy?
First of all, I want to emphasize the importance of including Fun into your life every day. How often do you spend your day operating from a state of auto pilot, that you totally miss out on even the simple pleasures of life?
One of the easiest ways to “find more time for fun” is to simply learn how to be present or in the moment. Science shows that we spend 95% of our time operating from our subconscious mind, or from a state of auto pilot, and only 5% in our conscious mind. I remember driving my car while talking on the phone one time, only to find that I had missed my exit miles and miles back and I had no idea where I even was anymore. I’ll bet you have had a similar experience. I certainly wasn’t driving consciously.
Secret #1: Spend more time in your Conscious State of Mind:
- By simply learning how to become conscious or present, you will expand time simply because you will be able to enjoy more of it. For example, when you are walking, sitting in a meeting or or at your computer, simply notice your breathing and your body. Notice what is going on around you. Notice smells, sounds, and sights. Stop day dreaming and stay in your body. Starting your day out with meditation or yoga or a simple walk where you are really conscious can really help you become more mindful for the rest of the day.
Secret #2: Find ways to Combine Activities:
- When you look at your Fun List, identify ways to combine activities like fitness, family, friends, hobbies, travel, freedom and even work. I call this system the Perfect Life Filter and here is an example: I need to exercise and I love going to yoga, so I could invite my daughter or a friend to join me for yoga. This way, I can spend time with my loved ones and also create time for self care. One of my favorite ways I have combined my Fun List is by leading my Costa Rica Retreat which allows me to travel and experience adventure, yoga, nature, spirituality, fresh tropical fruits and to play with my friends and clients all in a tropical paradise. How can you do this for yourself with your list?
Secret #3: Take out your Calendar and Schedule It:
- Bestselling author, Harv Eker, has a story about filling up a big jar with these containers of water, sand and rocks. If you don’t do the process in the right order, all three items won’t fit. The secret is starting with the “big rocks”, then sand, and finally the water. His analogy of the adding the Big Rocks first has to do with planning your most important events first and this is the time for self care, loved ones and fun. I use a similar process in my Perfect Life Time System which is a time system I have used for 10 years made up of Perfect Days, Prep Days and Power Days. In my system, I suggest planning all your Perfect Days first because these are the days that will keep you rejuvenated, healthy and happy. They are the days you are focused on self care, family and fun.
So have Fun with this process. Stay mindful, combine your fun activities and be sure to schedule your perfect days and big rocks! Enjoy!
Each week, Vicky and I interview the most amazing men and women on our weekly radio show, Smart Women Talk. Last week, our guest was Expert Celebrity Branding and Writing Coach, Ruth Klein, and her topic was “How to Become an Expert Celebrity & Get Your Book Published”.
Ruth is a six time bestselling author who helps individuals become thought leaders while bringing their messages to the world. I was excited to have her back to the show to share her wisdom, because so many women I meet seem to have a book inside of them, but have no idea where to start.
Writing the book is an issue in itself. Many people choose to write the book first, and then look for a publisher or simply self publish. Each of these options can work, but you need to have a clear action plan. Ruth recommends writing a comprehensive “Book Proposal” which includes a marketing plan and your platform, as well as book comparisons, endorsements, and sample chapters.
This is the process she has used to become a six time bestselling published author and she not only teaches this process, but actually takes individuals to the Book Expo each year to pitch their book proposals to publishers. I did this in 2008 with two of my associates from Michigan who both ended up getting published. Take a look at their books which have taken on a life of their own.
- Elder Law attorneys, Andy and Danielle Mayoras, Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights. Notice the powerful branding. They wanted to create a way for families to begin the conversation on estate planning while positioning themselves as the experts in this arena. They have been extremely successful and were even featured in a PBS special.
- International leadership guru, Anne Doyle, Powering Up already had a huge platform, and used her book to take her leadership message to thousands of women around the world.
The book expo was a catalyst for all of this and an amazing experience meeting with agents, acquisition editors and seeing the publishing business up close.
One of the things that Ruth talked about on the show was creating your soul centered brand and becoming an “Expert Celebrity”. All of this has to do with your Platform and includes:
- What is your expertise and credentials?
- How many people can you reach?
Another one of my friends just received a publishing deal with Hay House, including an advance, and it looks like they have already asked her to write her next book. One of her secrets is the huge platform she has created through her network, including the assurance that we will all help her promote her book when the time comes. Publishers want to get their investment back when they give you an advance.
If you missed the show last week, and want to listen, just click the link here to listen to the replay. Don’t forget to Subscribe to Smart Women Talk through iTunes and access all 157 shows for free!
I am sooooo excited that Ruth has created a Free Video Series for us: The Anatomy of a Book Proposal, click here to access it now!
Ruth has also offered a complimentary consultation for those who want to talk to her personally or may even want to join her in NYC May 30-31. Email her at Rklein@ruthklein.com and add Smart Women to the subject line to learn more.
By Michelle Hutchinson
When I first made the decision that I was going to leave the corporate world and build my own business I thought “How hard can it really be? So many are doing it and making money.” My reality was quickly shattered when I realized everything that had to go into this venture. So when I found Katana and Smart Women’s Coaching® I was relieved. Here was someone who could help me.
Some of you may know this story but in the beginning I was Katana’s client. She was helping me build a business around training and efficiency, which is my specialty. It only took about 4 sessions together to realize that we would make a bigger impact if we partnered our skills.
Katana refers to this as Front Stage/Back Stage. We both have our areas where our skills are strong and areas where our skills are a little lack. So partnering really made sense. In fact, this concept of Front Stage/Back Stage is the exact process she used to create a million dollar business that ran without her, so she could retire at 48 to create the Smart Women’s Coaching Programs®.
So when I hear the word Solo-preneur I want to laugh. This word should not exist. You can’t do it alone. Let me repeat that…You cannot do it alone. There is so much to do with marketing, branding, attracting clients, and all the social media to name a few. Then there’s product creation and scheduling clients, teleseminars, Webinars….the list goes on.
And what about your mind-set? Who is there for you when you feel overwhelmed and can’t go on? Some of you may have spouses and friends that can help but they may not even understand what you’re going through. Ahhhhh
I don’t want to scare anyone – in fact what I aim to do is encourage you. Your decision to be an entrepreneur is an admirable one. You have a dream and you’re going for it and that should be commended. You’re an inspiration to others and building a path for future generations to follow in your footsteps. Good for you!
You’re an inspiration to others and building a path for future generations to follow in your footsteps.
My point is that if you consider yourself a “solopreneur” then stop. Find someone who compliments what you offer and build a partnership. For many coaches and entrepreneurs they have an ongoing stream of ideas and dreams but no one to carry them out. In that case you may need a VA or consider partnering with someone who has the skills that you lack.
You may be thinking ‘but I can’t afford that right now’, then I ask you to do this exercise:
- Go through a typical day or week and keep track of what you’re doing.
- Categorize the activities by “Tasks that I’m good at that make me money” and “Tasks that drain my energy and do not make me money”
- Take the second draining category and multiply that time by what you charge.
- This amount will tell you how much of your valuable time is wasted doing things that you do not enjoy and do not bring money into your business.
Example: 2 hours a day x 5 days a week = 10 hours a week wasted x $125 a hour = $1250 a week in wasted hours. Do you think you can find someone to work for 10 hours for less than $1250 a week?
You may be surprised that there are people out there who enjoy doing the things that you don’t like. And you may find that there are people out there who quiver at the thought of doing the things that you love. That’s exactly what Katana and I found. Some of the things that she enjoys doing, simply drains my energy thinking about them, let alone doing them. In return I have taken over many of the tasks that drain her energy. It’s a total win/win and we love it!
So reach out to others. Find a network of people either locally or globally for support. There are many Facebook groups and organizations that connect people. To name just a few, check out the iCoach Network, The Thrive Hive, and SheNowOrg.
And of course there’s Smart Women’s Coaching. We love to promote and help others succeed so if you’re not currently receiving our ezines please sign up at smartwomenscoaching.com , be part of our Smart Women movement and share this with your friends.
Please do not give up your dreams. In the very successful book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill he says “Temporary defeat is not permanent failure. It may only mean that your plan wasn’t sound. Build other plans and start over again.”
When you’re done figuring out what doesn’t work the next logical step is figuring out what does. Good luck to you and keep dreaming!
The Shift Network is hosting the Inspiring Women Summit 2013. Click the link below to register and learn more.
Are you prepared for the call in the middle of the night?
As women, we are often expected to fill multiple roles: loving mother, career woman, supportive wife or partner and for many, a new role – that of a caregiver to aging parents or disabled loved ones.
For the last 25 years, I have helped clients create financial plans for their “golden years” and address issues of aging and remaining independent.
We all dread the idea of that “call in the night” – the one that means we must step into the “Designated Daughter” role, manage our parent’s or loved one’s lives and make tough decisions about their care, finances and welfare. But for many of us, that call will come, and it pays to have everything in place in advance.
I still remember when I got the phone call that my step father had fallen and was in the hospital at 86. It was a blessing in disguise because we found out he had lung cancer and were able to sell his home and have a new home waiting for him and my mother in a retirement community where they could get more care.
During his last week with us, my step-father called me his miracle worker while he was in Hospice lying on his hospital bed in the middle of the living room. You see, my mother was diagnosed with Dementia during the last month of his illness and because of the financial and estate planning we did 15 years before, not only did my mother have nothing to worry about financially, but his estate would be protected for his children after my mother’s death. I am so grateful they were open to planning when options were plentiful and affordable. You can do this same type of planning. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here are five steps that you can take now to get prepared:
Step 1 – Get Organized
Before attempting to discuss financial, tax and estate planning issues with your loved ones, be sure to sit down with a financial adviser and get your own life plan in order.
Step 2 – Initiate “The Discovery Conversation” with Your Loved Ones
One way to initiate this conversation is to ask them what they would do if something happened to you. Do they know the names and contact information of your advisors? Do they know your doctors? Do they know where to find documents such as your will, or medical forms? This may help lead the conversation into what your role would be for them. Are you needed as a caregiver, a trustee, or a personal representative? Who else might be involved? Knowing this up front will help you plan for your own future.
Step 3 – Start Planning as Early as Possible
Don’t wait until the unexpected happens. It’s never too early to start planning for the unexpected. Meeting with an attorney, financial planner and insurance agent to create the proper planning may be all it takes to make sure your needs are met. Planning early when your have the most options makes sense – being proactive rather than reactive.
Step 4 – Consider Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance
Start the conversation when your parents or loved ones are young and healthy and then suggest that they apply for long term care insurance as early as possible. We are living much longer and the need for healthcare and related services is exploding. In fact, seriously consider purchasing your own policy now while you are still healthy and the premiums are affordable!
Step 5 – Create a Team of Trusted Advisors
This is not the time for-do-it-yourself-planning. Find a “key adviser” who is an elder-care expert and have them manage the team with you based on your loved ones goals, values and objectives. The final product should enable your loved ones to maintain their dignity, lifestyle and assets. It should also meet the needs of the caregiver. The end result: everyone involved should be able to sleep better at night knowing all concerns have been addressed and that a team and a plan is in place to meet the unexpected.
We have a wonderful event taking place that will help start this process. It’s appropriately titled:
“Caring for your aging parents:
How to prepare for the call in the night.”
Please visit http://www.designateddaughter.com/events/ for more information and to register for the event.
The live panel discussion is April 18th and Registration Ends on Tuesday, April 10th – so save your spot now!