Do you ever catch yourself in your same old self-defeating patterns?
I know I sure don’t!!
Not because I don’t have them. It’s because I walk around with a blind eye to my self-sabotaging behaviors — until I get in a room with friends and colleagues who are able to see my bulls*t.
And that’s why I always love when I’m in a room with smart business owners.
As I was preparing for my upcoming Business Design Retreat, I found a note I had written after the very first BDR I hosted almost a year ago. It was a list of 3 (plus) things that were the biggest mindset lessons that popped up during that powerful day together.
It was a good reminder that building a business isn’t just about your business model and marketing and sales. So much is about mindset. And I’d like to share my takeaways with you from that particular day…
#1 You choose.
I was at TED headquarters in NYC last week and met a late 20-ish guy who told me he sold drugs for 4 years “because he had no choice.” When I was curious why he didn’t have any other options, he said he “wasn’t going to take a job at Target for $20,000 per year.”
Let’s be clear, I don’t care if he sells drugs or dish detergent.
But I DO strongly care that he didn’t think he had a choice. Because he did. It’s not that he couldn’t get a job. He CHOSE to sell drugs instead.
And you get to make your choices too. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
DON’T tell yourself, “I can’t.”
DO tell yourself, “I choose to” or “choose not to.”
#2 You decide.
Kerry knew she wanted to grow her business and found my mentoring program which she knew was right for her. She considered asking her husband and mom (yes, her mom!) for their permission to make the investment.
After tangling internally with the decision for awhile, she said, “F*ck it. I’m a grown woman” and went ahead and enrolled without asking them.
Within 30 days, she had increased her sales by 2.65 times – which more than paid back her investment. And ultimately doubled her revenues for the year.
DON’T ask for permission from others.
DO make your own decisions.
DO the work.
DO celebrate your results!
#3 You rule.
Meet the 2012 poster child for succumbing to Fear. >>>>>>>>>>>
After a severely disappointing and financially devastating period in my business, I froze.
I became so afraid of making another mistake. Afraid of making the wrong financial decision. Afraid of rejection. I was so afraid that I quit trying new things. Stopped taking risks. And was a living, breathing contradiction machine.
Until one day my coach asked me, “how long are you going to continue to let fear drive your decisions?”
It had become such a part of my fabric that I didn’t even realize the Real Carolyn Herfurth had shrunk into a tiny little shell of her former, ballsy self. All because I let Fear take the reins after making a few mistakes.
That was enough to wake me up — and I made fear my bitch.
(This is the part where I’m supposed tell you about how I’ve made millions and brag up my fancy Maserati convertible and second home in Hawaii. That’s not my jam.)
I became verrrrrry good at distinguishing between my fear (#false) and my instincts (#truth.) I found my groove and love that I now get to help others find theirs too.
I’ll admit Fear creeps in from time to time. But for the most part, I rule my decisions now. 🙂
DON’T let fear rule your potential for a rich and happy life.
DO make fear your bitch.
Oh, and there was a fourth scribble on my note that says, “Don’t wait to be great.”
Yeaaaahhhh… DO great now.
You walk into a room that inspires you to want to move in.
The room is spacious. High ceilings. Big windows. Cool art everywhere. Guitars hanging on the walls. Beat up leather chairs. A big, well-worn dining table. Persian rugs. Cool lamps. Yummy candles.
Old albums play on the turntable: Lionel Richie, David Bowie, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac… and hundreds more albums at your fingertips. DJC (yes, that’s me!) is spinning for your listening pleasure.
You there yet?
You slouch into one of the leather chairs. Or curl up on the oversized sofa and throw a big ass fuzzy blanket over yourself.
You feel calm. Safe. Yet filled with anticipation and unspoken expectations.
You’re handed a colorful journal with Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s quote, “We are the music makers. We are the dreamers of dreams.”
And given a hardcover book — “Ever Wonder”— filled with thought provoking questions you typically read, yet never take the time to answer.
And of course, you’re excited to get one of those clicky 4-color pens you loved in 5th grade. Because, why not?
You have one hour to write about ANY question you want from the book.
OMG! WTF do you do? So many choices!
You choose. And you write. Of course.
This is the scenario a handful of my clients walked into last Friday at the retreat I hosted for them in NYC.
After their hour of writing, each woman took time to share the question she chose and how she answered it. The question she selected was as revealing as what she wrote about it.
And as if that wasn’t enough, we layered on the twist of what WE saw in each of her chosen questions and revelations.
I noticed 3 main behaviors that were interfering with their full potential to grow…
We have expectations of ourselves and those around us. Our families. Our friends. Our prospects. Our clients.
Our expectations are a story we put on ourselves and others. Especially unfair since they so often go unspoken.
We try to live up to them. And want those around us to do the same. Even though they don’t even know our rules.
Then our disappointments pop up when expectations aren’t met. And we wonder, “WTF?! How could he/she do that to me?” We feel completely blindsided.
So we either lash out — or limp along like wounded puppies. Instead of changing our communication. Or better yet — our stories.
I want this. Am I sure I want this? Wait, I want that more. I’ve got to be crazy to think I’ll EVER get any of this!
Let’s say you really want to take Fridays off to go to the beach. But you think it’s OUTLANDISH to do that because you should be working.
The belief that it’s outlandish creates the contradiction — and will override your ability to take off Fridays to hit the beach until you change your belief.
Because if you have contradicting thoughts, how does the Universe know what to deliver?
HINT: You’ll get whatever is backed up by your strongest belief.
I want to play big and be crazy successful. But OMG – other people are so much bigger than me. I can’t measure up to them. I’m nuts to consider that I’m even close to their level. They make so much more money than me. I don’t belong here. When will everyone realize I’m a fraud?
It drives me a little batty when I find myself and other women minimizing their power, strength and brilliance. Men don’t do it! Why do we?!?!
We must STOP with that nonsense — and START making declarations.
Yes, that’s right.
Declare what success looks like to you.
Declare what you want.
Declare what “big” and “successful” look like to you.
Declare what you want that lies beyond where you think you are.
Declare and communicate your expectations.
And do it.
YOU get to make up the rules.
Declaring these things in advance will minimize disappointment and exponentially increase your happiness.
To build a sustainable business, you must eliminate your mindset minefields.
I highly encourage you to brush up on other common blocks so you can be on the lookout. Don’t let ’em sneak up on you! Click to access the “5 Mindset Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make and How To Avoid Them.”
Because the filters you use to view, translate, assume, perceive, expect, presuppose, imagine, presume… (shall I go on?) are ALL within your control.
Each and everyone of us is gifted with the ability to create the life we want. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is from Gary Lew who captures it beautifully,
I love knowing that I… You… We… have the power to be rewarded with the lives we want through our decisions and actions.
What I hadn’t really considered until last week, was something Liz Gilbert shares in her much ballyhooed “Big Magic” as I walked down Broadway listening to this magnificent book (yes, one of my clients turned me onto to Audible so I now listen while I walk ? .)
I literally stopped in my tracks because of something she said,
“Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.”
What did she just say?
Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.
One more time. Stop. Rewind.
Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.
But… But… But…!
I go after what I want, but it’s been awhile since I thought about the fact that what I do NOT get is also what I ask for.
And then, duh, I remembered my personal email signature — which really argues for both positive and negative actions.
You’re exactly where you want to be. Do you really want to stay there?
Meaning… we get what we want. Limitations and all.
Damn it. How am I going to get rid of these extra 10 pounds?
The ten pounds that stay on because…
I’m almost 50.
I’m a woman.
I spend most of the day sitting.
At least I’m not 25 pounds overweight.
I’m tall so nobody really notices except for me unless I’m in a swimsuit.
I don’t enjoy cooking.
I don’t have time to shop for groceries.
I’m like all New Yorkers who eat out (or take out) all the time, anyway.
Even though the deli guy at my bodega doesn’t know my name, he might miss making turkey sandwiches for me.
I can’t have a sandwich without those yummy jalapeño Kettle chips.
I can’t have a sandwich and jalapeño Kettle chips without a Black & White cookie.
There’s really no other city in the world that knows how to make a Black & White cookie so I’d better take advantage of the fact that I have this VIP access to them.
At least I’m not 30 pounds overweight.
My foot hurts.
My elbow hurts.
My shoulder hurts.
I can’t go back to kickboxing until my “hurts” are better.
I can’t seem to find a good physical therapist in this city of 8 million people (and probably hundreds of PTs.)
It’s the holidays.
Mmmmm… those cookies are good.
At least I’m not 35 pounds overweight.
Did I mention I’m almost 50?
I feel so competent at positively shaping my world that I’d never really thought about how I argue for my limitations — until Liz slapped me upside the head with that comment.
It made me think about the limitations I hear from business owners:
I work so hard for so little money.
I don’t have enough prospects.
I hate selling.
My clients owe me money.
My clients don’t pay me enough.
I can’t afford it.
I don’t see how I could ever earn more money. I’ll never break X income ceiling.
I already have so much debt, I can’t afford to add more.
How would I ever pay for it?
I don’t make enough money to afford it.
I can’t invest that much in myself.
I need to check with my husband.
I need to check with my Mom.
I need to check with my accountant.
I need to check with my spirits.
I’ve already made so many mistakes.
I’ve hired coaches before and they were pretty good, but I didn’t get a return on my investment.
I don’t know where to find potential clients.
My prices are too low.
My prospects say they can’t afford me.
My husband wants me to get a job.
I don’t want to get a job.
I’d like a Venti Quad, please.
I’ll follow up with that potential client when I get back from our Disney trip.
It’s my world. I get to choose.
It’s your world. You get to choose.
Going forward, can we make a pact to be more mindful of when we notice ourselves arguing for our limitations?
Did you know that women business owners earn approximately 45% less than our self-employed male counterparts?
I get agitated reading the analysis of women-owned businesses* because our earnings are a highly distorted reflection of our true value.
How can it be possible that…
- 82% of women have annual sales of less than $50,000 per year
- only 11% exceed $100,000 in yearly revenue
- and just 1.7% break $1,000,000?
Another thing that irks me is the recommendation to support the women-owned businesses that are just shy of the million dollar mark. The SMALLEST percent of business owners.
But what about the women who are making less than $100,000? Or <$50,000? Or <$25,000?
Yes, what about YOU?
I’m not here to judge what you want out of your business. Or project what you should want to earn. If you’re happy with less than $50,000, that’s okay. Maybe you’ve got other resources. That’s cool. Really.
But the women who seek me out all have bigger financial goals than that.
And it’s possible you might too… but can’t figure out why it’s not happening.
It’s one of the reasons I host a free webinar about ‘The Real Reason You’re Not Earning A Reliable Income — and How To Get Off The Money Roller Coaster’.
I’ve got a session coming up soon. And we even do a live Q&A so you can ask any questions you’ve got on the topic.
There’s no charge to participate. And maybe I will have cooled down by then. (Unlikely 😉 )
* Source: The State Of Women-Owned Businesses Report (United States) has been commissioned by American Express OPEN for the past six years.
I’ve been through countless sales slumps over my past 14 years in business.
And let me tell you, holding a dance card that’s filled with “NO, NO, NO” can be one of the most demoralizing experiences a business owner can face.
Dealing with these slumps is isolating, embarrassing and a real ego-buster. But as sure as the sun sets every day, it’s bound to happen.
Three of my most memorable (and painful) dips were…
1. My first year in business
Even though I’d gone out on top from a successful sales career in Corporate America, I could not close a deal to save my life in my new business.
With loads of advice from legions of colleagues, I finally eked out two paying clients somewhere between months 10-12 which kept me in the game.
As a result of earning less than 10% of my prior year corporate income, I had to rearrange a lot of financial obligations in order to stay afloat. Talk about a major reality check.
2. Following my first live event in NYC
I had just moved to New York and was so excited because the event was sold out 2 weeks in advance. Even people without tickets showed up on event day with the hope of getting a coveted seat. The room was electric. I was living the dream!
Yet it turned out to be a quite possibly the worst day of my life.
Despite the popularity of the event and 88 people in the room, only one person bought the program I offered.
In hindsight, I know it’s because I was out of alignment with the offer I made.
But worse yet, I felt maligned. Rejected. Like a big fat loser.
The shrapnel from that single event sent me to the sofa for months afterward. Those were quite possibly the worst months of my life.
I went from the highest high to having lost all confidence in myself and questioning everything.
What am I doing with my life? When am I ever going to figure out my business? How can I afford to stay in NYC if nobody will buy from me? What’s wrooooooong with me? I’m no good!
3. During a major losing streak
I had a period where I had a bunch of sales conversations, but nobody, and I mean nobody, was buying.
I felt so defeated. I’m the sales coach. How could I be screwing up so many opportunities?
I stepped back for awhile before half-heartedly trying to do more outreach. But that wasn’t doing the trick. My prospects could sense that I didn’t believe in myself — so why should they believe in me?
I felt like I was “wasting” good prospects so I plain old stopped trying. Just hoping I’d get out of my slump ASAP.
Like inaction would do me any good. Riiiiiight.
Those slumps destroyed any shred of confidence I had left. And when I did have a sales conversation, my prospects were saying NO because they sensed something was off.
It’s crucial to move through the slump as quickly as humanly possible!
The quickest way to get out of it is to follow these 2 pieces of advice:
DO NOT “compare and despair.”
Resist the urge to look around and obsess over how successful everyone else appears. And then shame yourself for not being right up there with them.
It did no good to sit around wondering why I couldn’t be more successful, skinny and gorgeous like Ali Brown. Especially if I did it while eating a sleeve or two of Oreos while I stewed. That only made me angry.
Get off of Facebook if it makes you feel crappy. Unsubscribe from the “shiny happy people” emails if they depress you. It’s okay to seclude yourself from that stuff for awhile. It’s only temporary.
DO take immediate steps to restore your confidence.
The secret of every successful entrepreneur is knowing how to get out of a sales slump as quickly as possible by getting the YESES rolling in again. Because YESES and money solve a lot of problems. 🙂
For 3 go-to secrets that have lifted me out of innumerable slumps over the years, go ahead and help yourself to 3 Secrets That Boost Confidence & Inspire Your Prospects To Readily Say YES! by clicking on the image below:
Slumps are bound to happen. And looking back, those dips are a right of passage. BUT… that doesn’t mean you can’t find the quickest way through, around or across any slumps and bumps you hit along the way!
I’m in <3 with this man, Mike Dooley. (His wife has nothing to worry about.)
I was lucky enough to spend 3 days with him at Omega Institute this past weekend. And because it was so goooooooood, I'm inspired to share a few of my favorite nuggets with you from my #SundayCEO this week.
Get ready for some old fashioned woo woo!!!
1. Thoughts become things.
If you're thinking positively, that's what you're gonna get. And the same is true if you're thinking negatively. Watch what you say and think!
2. Because things do not become thoughts, dream "generally."
In other words, dreaming about the book you'll write (or Porsche you'll buy) ain't gonna get you happiness. Instead, it saddles you because you've linked your whole life with this book taking off. Instead, think about what writing the book will get you.
THAT'S the feeling that you REALLY want to dream about. Because maybe it's a talk show that'll get you the feeling. Or a world speaking tour. Or a role in a movie. And aren't they all equally cool?
Trying to dictate HOW you'll get that feeling by saying it's "the book" closes off possibilities.
3. You rock BECAUSE of your challenges and problems.
Challenges make you rise to the next level. If it feels like things aren't working, it means you're ready for a bigger game.
Which is why...
4. Taking action breeds clarity.
Knock on more doors. Look for more paths. More options. More ideas. If what you're doing isn't working, toss in another option for fun. My friend, Tina Forsyth and I love doing "experiments" because it takes off the pressure!
That means you need to get out. Get out. Get out. Even if it's just going to the mall to people watch. You're more likely to get what you want (aka "manifest") when you get out of the house and / or office.
5. Only in hindsight are the miracles obvious.
Just because you don't see them in real time doesn't mean they're not happening... because they are.
You may have heard my "sobbing-in-my-living- room-because-I-went-in-the-hole-trying-to-build-my-business" story. I thought I would never figure out how to make REAL money in this business.
Then almost magically, all my so-called crappy experiences melded with my positive experiences and I created this cool thing called Evolve Accelerator.
Not only has it positively changed my clients lives and their businesses, it's changed mine. I can hardly believe I'm starting my 18th Evolve group next month!
And that's just one of many examples of the miracles being evident in hindsight, but not in real time.
*** ASK YOURSELF ***
Am I taking action - or giving up?
Am I getting out of the house -or waiting for success to come to me?
Are my thoughts about what I (generally) want - or about what I (specifically) don't have or am afraid of?
*** *** *** *** ***
You are amazing. And mindset is half the battle. Well, it's more like 99% of the battle.
Wishing you your most fantastic week ever!
As a small business owner, have you ever fallen flat on your face in your business like I have?
Maybe a program launch flopped. Or your sales conversations went nowhere? It’s no fun, but it happens to every small business owner.
A few years back I had a huge moment of clarity that I knew would help women entrepreneurs move out of the struggle. And start to finally have all your hard work pay off big time.
It all started on a cocktail napkin as I explained this phenomenon to a few fellow entrepreneurs over drinks one night.
Since this topic has been coming up a LOT lately, I put it into a quick video for you to explain the real reason you’re struggling.
If you’re floundering in your business, this is totally worth your time!
As you can see, you’re not alone.
If you’re in (or fast approaching) The Dip, we can talk about what’s going on for you and discuss best steps for your unique situation.
Simply complete a short assessment by clicking the link below – and let’s talk about the next best steps for you.
launched The Biztruth.
Those first few years were quite a shock after a relatively cushy and predictable 7 years of owning my franchise!
Yes, it’s been quite a ride.
And looking back, there were two things that initially stunted my business growth and personal happiness when I launched.
And I notice those same things with many of the women entrepreneurs I meet so I want to share them with you.
1. Women feel the need to ask others for permission.
From their spouse. Coaches. Peers. Friends. Mailman. Butcher…
I’ll never forget the time I asked my “millionaire mentor” what he thought about me creating a web tv show that would’ve gotten me a bunch of visibility early on. He flat out told me “no don’t do it.”
Ummmmmm… why in the world would I let HIM decide for ME?
Sigh… because I didn’t trust myself.
How do you expect your prospects and clients to trust you if you don’t even trust yourself?
That’s the question I had to ask myself because I had overwhelming evidence in the form of the next problem…
2. There’s not a single entrepreneur who’s not looking for more clients.
We spend all sorts of time and money on programs hoping for an instant and BIG payoff.
But when it doesn’t work, we lose trust in ourselves to make good decisions.
It’s a vicious circle.
Once I was able to pull my head out of my ass (Sorry, Dad. I know you’re reading this, but it’s true!) and look clearly at the real keys to strategically building my business, everything changed for the better.
If you want to learn more, I wrote a brief that explains what to do to get more clients and gain a fresh level of self-trust.It’s something different that’ll make you question what you’ve been told about how to get more clients.
It’ll challenge your assumptions.
And it’ll explain what to do about it.
Once you master the five things you’ll learn in this brief, you’ll stop asking others for permission.
Because your level of self-trust will be locked in.
You can download this free brief using the link below:
Knowing this stuff 6 years ago when I moved into this wild West of business sure would’ve been a time, money and heartache saver – so I hope you take a moment to read it.
And a lifetime living it.
Wishing you many happy and prosperous anniversaries in YOUR business!
We believe happiness is a choice you make.
And because we’re big fans of doing biz happier — so you can live happier — we’ve compiled a dozen ideas to create greater happiness in business.
[Sadly, a whopping 74% of entrepreneurs admit to being unhappy with their business. Being unhappy at work affects the rest of your life — which in turn affects your business. It’s a vicious cycle!]
If you’re ready for more happy, keep reading and click away!
[ctt tweet=”Happiness is a choice you make. #chooseyourhappy #happiness” coverup=”cQGcH”]
Start your day on the right note by waking up to your favorite song.
Michael Strahan, host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” and author of “Wake Up Happy” sets his morning alarm to play “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers.
Another option? Check out Pharrell’s 24hoursofhappy! (note: it’s temporarily on the fritz – check back again!)
Write your goals* every morning to remind yourself why you’re doing what you do. Make a list of things you want, dream and fantasize about in your favorite notebook. And journal about what you’ll do with all the money and fame you’ll have someday.
* Writing your goals improves the odds you’ll achieve them by 42% according to a study by Dominican University of California.
Change your “fear stories” to “love stories.”
Afraid to call a potential client? Reframe your thoughts from “what if they reject me?” to “they’d be lucky to work with me!” Or “there are plenty of fish in the sea!”
HINT: Think about what you would tell a friend if she were in your shoes and tell yourself that 🙂
Build your confidence with a “brag sheet” celebrating your accomplishments.
What magic do you spread? What’s unique about you? What achievements made you who you are today?
Print this beauty to give yourself the credit you deserve as a reminder of your purpose – and that you’re meant to serve others.
Don’t hold back!
Remind yourself what fresh air smells like.
Enjoy an afternoon escape to nature* and dream about what your business could be like.
Better yet, invite a colleague who will help you dream even bigger.
Do business in a way you LOVE!
Stop working so hard to squeeze yourself into a generic business model. You’ll “biz happier” when you do things your way.
Pay it forward.
You have more abundance than you might think. Donate a fraction of your revenue to people and causes that feed your spirit. It demonstrates faith that all will be well. If committing to a percentage feels like too much, start by leaving a random $5 (or $1) bill for someone to find.
Take a nap.
It’s been proven to increase your productivity by 34%!
Volunteer a few hours a month.
Teach English as a second language. Work at a pet shelter. A nursing home. Community garden. There are plenty of in-person and virtual options to choose from.
You’ll brighten someone’s day. And it will remind you what’s important in life.
Host a happy hour in your home or some other special space.
(I love my NYC patio for this.) Invite your existing clients and ask them to invite their colleagues for a fun networking session.
And if money’s tight, make it potluck!
Amp up your creative juices by learning something that’s not work-related.
Skiing. Sailing. Belly dancing. Photography. Singing. Sword fighting. Rock climbing. Playing guitar. Juggling. Fire eating…
(Probably not all at once, though 😉
Choose your happy.
Yes, it’s a choice!
And as an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to choose how you design and run your business.
You’ll infuse fun, flow and freedom into your life —by injecting it into your business.
Want even more happy?
Be the first to know when we have more ideas to share with you at www.chooseyourhappy.lol.
I’m still plugging away on assembling a special idea generator for curing those moments (days, weeks, months…?) to get you out of feeling “UGH” and into happy in your business.
Looks like it’ll be ready next Wednesday so keep your eyes out for it.
And since I’m taking a lifetime to finish up this article and don’t have a regular newsletter for you today, I wanted to bring an oldie but goodie out of the archives for you.
I believe this was the second or third video I ever did over six years ago… and was the precursor to The Biztruth.
I guarantee you’ll get a laugh out of it (especially at :55) so enjoy!