Archive for the ‘Making a Difference’ Category
This is one amazing young woman. Get ready to cry and take your stand beside her! Just wait and hear at 4:29 what she’ll do if they come for her again – simply profound. Click here to watch!
For more on her story, check out her book:
Have you ever seen something going on that was just wrong and thought, “Someone should do something about that”? We’ve all had those moments of frustration knowing that we can’t make a difference all by our selves, so we simply stand back and wait to see what happens.
Well today, I want to tell you that you can make a difference. I know so many women who have done so too, like my radio show co-host, Vicky Trabosh, who went to Rwanda simply because she heard a woman’s personal story about the atrocity that happened there, and because the women’s name was Rita – the same as her late mother’s, she saw it as a sign and took off for Rwanda.
Today, Vicky runs a nonprofit called, Itafari.org and has a school there where they educate children so they can go on to college and transform not only their own lives, but their family legacy and their communities. Vicky’s made a huge difference, raising over $500,000 for her community in Rwanda, changing lives one Itafari (brick) at a time!
Carol Walters has made a difference by helping children. She is the founder of the Womenscaringprogram.org where 30 years ago she started with just 3 women and asked them to bring two others with them. The group has grown to over 1000 women raising funds for children’s organizations.
I live next to Dodge Park which was given to Commerce Township by Matilda Dodge. She made a difference when she left her land in trust to be enjoyed by the community. Somehow, however, the government was going to put a freeway through her gorgeous park. The environmentalist were able to stop it, but the land was now up for grabs, and the developers got a hold of it and were going to turn her beautiful park into condos.
This is when my friend, Kathleen Brown (AKA the Tree Witch) stepped up and decided they were not going to destroy her “cathedral of trees”. She asked me to join her, and so we began collecting signatures, called the media, our state representatives, and after a lot of hard work, and some magic from our fabulous township Commissioner, Tom Zoner, the park is now saved.
Today, I want to share three simple tips with you on how you too can make a difference:
- Step 1: Find something you are passionate about. If something grabs you like it did Kathleen, or you experience something tragic and feel moved to make a statement or impact. Don’t wait, step forward. It might feel scary at first, but this is when the magic begins and the Universe begins steps into help you.
- Step 2: Start small. Take baby steps like Kathleen and I did with the park. We simply started a petition. Once we had the signatures, we had power. Then we went to the adjacent gun club and asked them, “How would they like a huge condo development next door, complaining about the noise every weekend?” Now we had not only our list, but their entire list of members. That’s powerful.
- Step 3: Get support. Reach out to your friends and people they know asking for the help you need. In our case, I reached out to my friend at Fox News, Monica Gail, who lived in the community right next door to rally the media. We also reached out to our local state representatives and invited them to the meeting with Multi Lakes Gun Club and then of course we created a media event.
Somehow, everything worked out perfectly, and our wonderful county commissioner, Tom Zoner, purchased the land back and today we have a wonderful park with concerts, soccer, nature trails and of course Kathleen’s beautiful “cathedral of trees”.
You to CAN make a difference! We’d love to hear from you in the area below something you have done that may have taken you out of your comfort zone, and how it all came together in the long run to transform lives and make a difference.
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!
Written by Michelle Hutchinson
March is National Women’s History Month and Smart Women’s Coaching® has spent each day this month honoring inspirational women who have paved the way
for the rest of us. We’ve been posting them to our Facebook page and Twitter. Unfortunately, there are only 31 days in March and obviously more than 31 amazing women in history, so we won’t be able to cover everyone. We welcome you to add to the list by commenting below though.
There are no criteria to be on the list – except that they’re all women and they’ve all done something to open the doors for other women to pass through. Now, not every inspirational woman opened a specific career path for you but they all do have something in common and that is they didn’t give up. They likely took on a male dominated field and broke down the door to make their presence known.
Let’s take Sally Ride for example. Some of you may remember that Sally Ride was the first female astronaut who traveled to space on the Challenger in 1983. Sally may not have inspired a lot of girls to join the NASA program, but the fact that she took on a very male dominated field and won showed commitment, confidence, and a belief that she had what it took to travel in space. That alone is incredibly inspirational and I admire that.
Personally, I am inspired by those who don’t give up and never stop believing in themselves. One of my favorite stories is J.K. Rowling who was a divorced singled mother on welfare struggling to get by while writing a novel. She sold “a few” books about a wizard, maybe you’ve heard of them, and became the first novelist billionaire.
Another story of perseverance is Kathryn Stockett. If you’re not sure who that is she is the author of the incredibly successful book “The Help” which spent over 30 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and turned into a successful movie that earned a few awards. Kathryn says she received like 60 rejection letters before someone agreed to take on her story. How many would you have received before giving up?
And probably one of the women I truly look to for inspiration is Oprah Winfrey. I don’t necessarily admire her for having a television show; I admire her for her drive. Did you know that she was fired from one of her first jobs because they told her she was “unfit for TV”? You know that manager is probably kicking himself today. She had a childhood that most may not recover from but she persevered and it has paid off. She always believed in herself and what she had to offer the world and never stopped trying.
Whenever I feel like I’m so close to succeeding but not sure if I can do it I ask myself…WWOD – What Would Oprah Do? It always reminds me that if you believe in yourself others will too.
It’s not difficult to find a woman out there who inspires you and provides you with the motivation and drive to move towards your goal. She doesn’t have to be famous; she could be as close to home as a family member or friend. The important thing is you have someone to look to when you question your own path.
So here’s what I ask of you:
- Share a story below of someone who inspires you and honor them.
- Strive to become that woman for someone else.
- Make sure your path is leaving doors wide open to the next generation of amazing girls.
- Share this article.
Written by guest contributor Michelle Hutchinson
My daughter and I play a game on our iPad called Sims FreePlay™. I’m sure you’ve heard of this game. It’s where you build a computer animated town and fill it with people – or Sims™ as they are called. Each person has their own personality, house, wardrobe, hobby, and career. You advance through the game by increasing skills in your hobby and your career and gain money and lifestyle points along the way. The more you practice your hobby the more lifestyle points you earn and the more you practice your career skills the more advance you become and the more money you make. Sounds a little like real life, doesn’t it?
For example, one career in our town is a Firefighter. To become the Fire Chief they must practice this skill over and over so they can advance to the next level. There are other careers in this town but it wouldn’t do this particular Sim™ any good to practice one of the other trades – because they are a firefighter. They need to keep their focus on firefighting. The Jack of all Trades career is not an option in this game, nor should it be in real life.
There’s a lot we could learn from this animated town. For one, the more we practice and engage in our hobbies and friends the more lifestyle points we earn and the happier we are. And two, the more we practice and stick to our specific job the more we advance in that career. Our Sims don’t have a choice of what career path they must follow, I assign one to them. You, however, do have the option to choose.
Do you love your job and the career path you’re on? Then follow it and practice getting better at that job. Take training, read books, get more involved and gain the skills needed to make that career even better. You may have many skills, don’t we all, but hone in on one in particular and then become the expert that other people come to and that you become known for.
On the other hand, what if you say you don’t like your current job or career path? Then ask yourself, why would you spend any time getting better at something you don’t even enjoy? Why not take that energy and focus on something that makes you happy. There must be something in your current job that you like or are good at or you would have never been hired. What is it? Can you take that skill and make something out of it?
I’ll give you an example. I use to drag myself into work every day. Even though at one point I really enjoyed my job, I had grown to dread Mondays. When I finally made that decision that I was no longer going to settle in my life, I took a moment to identify that part of my job that I liked and that I was naturally great at. It turned out to be efficiency. I was really good at helping the other departments streamline their processes and save time. I enjoyed helping them. This became the one skill that I was going to focus on and become the expert that people would know me for. And that’s what I’ve done.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is it that you want to do with your life?
- What would it take for you to wake up on Monday happy and ready to start your week?
- What is it that you could do all day and just completely lose track of time?
- Now identify how can you make money doing that.
The Law of Attraction says that what you focus on you’ll receive more of. So if your focus is on hating your job, that’s what you will get more of – hating your job.
So make your focus “loving what you do” and just imagine what you’ll begin receiving.
The exercises in this workbook will help you identify what your unique abilities and strengths are, and may even help you identify your new career path.
Are we having fun yet? That’s how it feels sometimes as we fly through our life simply trying to keep up with the chaos. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Over 10 years ago, I started using a time system that changed my life and I have shared it with hundreds of others since that time. This system is perfect for the entrepreneur, self employed, coaches, consultants, healers and anyone who is in the service industry working with a client base.
Most of the world operates from the 9-5, Monday through Friday time system which was set up to move massive amounts of people at the turn of the century into and out of the workplace in a systematic way. As an entrepreneur, we can work any schedule we can imagine and that’s what my time system is based on. And isn’t that one of the reason you wanted this lifestyle in the first place…to have more freedom and flexibility in your schedule?
There is more to this system then what I can share in this article so my goal today is to get you thinking differently about how you plan your day, you week and your life.
The Perfect Life Time System is made up of three different types of days:
Perfect Days – These are the days when you are rejuvenating, having fun, doing things to increase your energy and joy in life and deepening relationships with your friends and family. On these days, you are totally unplugged from work and from your “To Do List”. These days are also planned out in advance. You plan these days first! So often these days get lost or by the time we do take a perfect day or vacation – we are totally burned out. This is not the goal for this time system. The goal is keeping you energized and rejuvenated so you can be happy and productive.
Power Days – These are your “Money Days” when you are in the zone, focused on your unique abilities and talents, doing the things that you are naturally great at and that bring you the most income and satisfaction. In the last two articles, I talked about how to identify these activities and if you still haven’t done the last two exercises, I suggest you go back and do them now. Learning this process and implementing it will take discipline but it’s so well worth it.
Prep Days – These are the days when you are cleaning up messes, working on your “To Do List”, organizing and being very mindful – planning for fabulous Perfect Days and effective Power Days. Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of the Highly Effective Person” calls these Quadrant 2 activities when you are working on tasks that are “Important and Not Urgent”, so in other words, you are strategic and mindful about how you plan out these days.
In the beginning you will have more Prep Days as you are trying to get organized, learn how to delegate, set up systems and hire staff or outsource, but after a while you will be able to shift to more and more Perfect Days and Power Days.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article there is a lot more to implementing this system, and it’s part of an entire Perfect Life Process that I teach. So today’s exercise is simply to spend some time identifying what your idea Perfect Day, Prep Day and Power Day would look like.
Once you do this, the next step is to get your calendar out and to reshape your workweek and your year. I have used this system for 10 years, and so has my team. In the past, it’s allowed me to work three weeks and take one week off on a regular basis, and it has given me the ability and permission to control my calendar, stay rejuvenated and to be able to work on my business.
If this idea is intriguing to you and you are willing to do these first three assignments then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get you started.
If you had the choice to double your income or to double your time off, which would you choose? It is possible, maybe not over night, but it is possible over time if you learn the steps, follow the process and stay on track. It’s all about consistency and implementation.
In this new age, you are rewarded for your results, not activities. You are paid for your outcomes, rather than hours you work.
If you can double your value, you can double your income. How? By identifying the things you do that contribute the most to yourself and your clients.
I often refer to the 80/20 Rule:
- That 80% of our results come from 20% of our activities.
- That 80% of our income comes from 20% of our clients.
- That 20% of the people generate 80% of the revenue
So think about how you can incorporate this rule into your life by spending more time on your most effective activities. There are steps you can take whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur. I believe you need to think of yourself as an entrepreneur even if you are an employee, but that is another story.
How can you reinvent your career – what you do every day – to bring you more income, freedom and joy?
Four Simple Steps:
- Bring out a piece of paper and draw a line across the top and one down the middle. Now put a smiley face on top of the left column and an unhappy face on the top of the right column.
- On the left side, identify what are the things that you love to do, that you do well and that also bring you the most revenue.
- On the right side, identify all the things that drain your energy, that you put off, that you are terrible at or simply don’t get paid well for.
- Now eliminate, delegate and outsource all these items from the right side that are draining your energy and sucking your money so you can focus 80% of your time on the things items from the left side that you love, are great at and make you the most money.
It truly is that simple, but you might need some help with this. I find most people do need support – but once they get it and begin to implement this process the magic begins. I’ve seen it in my clients lives and I have used this secret over and over to not only create lots of wealth, but to give me the freedom to travel, make a difference and really live the life I love.
This is one of the smartest and fastest ways to double your income or time off. It will require some work and investment initially on your part, because after you eliminate, you are still left with delegating and outsourcing. This step will involve trust, giving up some control and ultimately result in your stepping into your power!
Now I invite you do to two things.
- Do the exercise above right now or at least put it in your calendar right now…then see how you feel when you are done and share it with us below in our FaceBook group.
- If you want help with your list when you complete it, click here to book a complimentary appointment with Michelle and me to take the first step in creating more time, freedom and money in your life by taking action with that list.
This process works and I can’t wait to hear what you discover, learn and create in your life, your business and your finances with it!