This simple concept is keeping you stuck in your biz


    Do you remember that time when you were little and you’re mom told you to sit down and make a Christmas list for Santa?


    You poured your heart into that list. You carefully sourced the exact page number that each gift could easily be found within the JC Penney catalog. And along with those page numbers you neatly summed up which color you would prefer.


    Rubik’s cube. I’d like an all pink one please. Page 32, left hand side.


    And then Christmas morning came and went and sure enough your carefully sourced pink perfection from page 32 was under the tree waiting for you. Oh wait, that’s not exactly how that ends?


    Dang it, I knew I had gotten something wrong. That pink perfection was among 146 other items that had also been carefully sourced.


    What’s Santa to do?!


    Thus became your earliest lesson that you don’t always get what you want simply because you said you wanted it. And sometimes Santa requests a list that he doesn’t even shop from.


    Along with bringing up a possible sore subject involving the jolly ‘ol Saint Nick, I’m releasing a harsh truth. Are you ready for this?



    Your big ideas really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things if you never actually do anything with them.



    You can make all the ‘to do’ lists you want but if you never cross anything off said list you will never progress to anywhere. Except for becoming an excellent list maker, maybe. But I am guessing that it is highly unlikely that was what your original intent was.


    I could be wrong. But I doubt it. You’ve been filling up notepads and notebooks full of ideas and all of the exciting follow up steps to make them happen.


    Except….that you’re not making them happen. Instead, those notebooks have started piling up sky high and mentally your planning, planning, planning but you haven’t followed through.


    I’m not pointing fingers. On the contrary. I relish list making.


    Making lists is one of my guilty pleasures. I like to turn ideas over and over in my head much like attempting to solve that all pink rubik’s cube. A turn here. A slide there. Colors and patterns start to marble together before your very eyes and if your lucky you can manage to match up one whole side (yessss!) before you get exasperated and toss it across the room.


    But when you finally pick up that rubik’s cube off the corner of the floor you’ve relegated it to, you end up starting all over again. And in essence, that is exactly what you are doing with your lists.


    And that, right there, is what is keeping you stuck.


    And why do I get to say that? Cuz that is exactly what I was doing (and I’ll admit, I still struggle with it every now and again). But I had someone to call me on my crap the same way I am calling you out now. And without their intervention in list making mania, I would still be sitting at my desk perfecting yet another set of plans that I had no intention of executing.


    Instead of staying stuck in the cycle, I am calling you to action. Calling you to put one foot in front of the other and start doing.



    Make a decision and choose to move forward.



    The only way you will gain the clarity you need to move along your path is to overcome the fear of making decisions. You have built the roadmap, your lists are proof of this. Now you just need to follow them.



    Tell me, what item are you going to check off your list today? Declare it loud and proud! Let’s put those lists to good use.



    The #1 thing holding you back

    DeathtoStock_Self limiting

    I have two problems with the world:



    1. Self limiting beliefs

    2. Cammo weddings



    Cammo weddings because I’ll be honest, I just don’t like them. Unless, in lieue of hiring a caterer, the wedding party is going out after the ceremony to forage for the wedding meal, there is no acceptable reason to deck out a wedding party in cammo. I will admit, I have a hard time not prejudging your character when you desire cammo make an appearance at your wedding.


    Self limiting beliefs are kind of like the common cold in my opinion. They can be contagious, passed from person to person, and can make a big snotty mess of your life for no reason other than just to be inconvenient.



    We have all been subject to self limiting beliefs at one time or another.



    They wreak havoc on your life, your goals, your realtionships. Nasty buggers.


    And many of us are still struggling with them, right now.


    Maybe you have them because your own self confidence has become a pro at waging epic battles against you. Maybe they were projected onto you from someone else, say an overly demanding boss, an impossible to please instructor, or that curt woman from your favorite fashion label that took one look at your portfolio during an interview and said “nope”. That’s it, just “nope”.


    Plain and simple, as long as you allow it self limiting beliefs will suck the life blood out of your dreams. And not in that sexy, mysterious vampire boyfriend way. Nope this is full on blood sucking – I’mma make you second guess everything – villain style.


    DeathtoStock_Self limits


    Self limiting beliefs. Whatever the reason and wherever the source, they’re bad for you.


    Take for example, being stuck in a 9-5 corporate gig that you hate. Mmm, that sounds nice. In this case, society has manipulated self limiting beliefs to their advantage. Instead of rallying you on to your dreams, they entice you with future promises of security, stability, and wealth IF you start at the bottom rung of the ladder and climb your way to the top. They lure you into a carefully crafted fantasy land where making a paycheck is more than enough reward for a hard day’s work. They spin an intricate web of communication that benefits of a job are having access to health care, paid vacation (as long as it doesn’t coincide with a time they don’t approve of) and bonuses (as long as it pads their pockets first).


    “You need to gain experience. If you work hard, someday…” they say.



    “Aren’t you excited about paid vacation time?” they ask. (“Make sure you get it approved first” they add)



    “You need to start somewhere and pay your dues. Don’t get ahead of yourself” they warn.



    The repitive, drilled-in manner of these questions and statements have you repeating them to yourself in a sloooow, level monotone so as to convince yourself that “yes, I really do need to start at the bottom, I really do need the experience to someday earn more pay.”  


    They have you convinced that you must climb your way to the better position. Climb your way to the better pay. Want more power, more respect? That’s right, keep climbing.



    But hold up a sec,



    When you take a step back, are you able to see what ‘s perched atop that ladder you’re climbing?



    Is it something you even want?



    If the answer is yes, well than by all means climb away. Bravo for finding your path, keep chugging. And by the way, not quite sure this blog is the right fit for you…



    Or, are you just climbing because someone, somewhere told you that’s what you are supposed to do?


    *Do we have a bingo?*


    I’m just guessing here, but I am going to assume that you my friend are NOT so sure that the ladder leads to what you want. As a matter of fact, I am going to make a not so wild assumption here and say that you are very confident that the particular ladder your clinging to is, in fact, leading you to a future you will loathe.


    So, what are you going to do about it?


    (* Note that I said what are you going to DO about it. Not what do you think about it. Or, what do I think you should do about it. But what are you going to do about it!)


    DeathtoStock_Self views


    To get started you need to get clear on what’s holding you back in the first place.


    Crack that coccoon open and prod at it a bit. Yeah, it’s probably going to be painful. But far more painful is staying somewhere you really don’t belong for no other reason than ‘because someone told me to’.


    Are you cramming yourself into a teeny, tiny mold comprised of everyone else’s thougths and perceptions of you? Are you operating with your end goals in mind, or have you blindly followed those that have been fed to you?


    And most importantly, are you ready to break free from self limiting bullshit and make concious, real decisions for your life?



    It’s a damn shame that we allow these beliefs to power the way we approach our lives, the way we interract with others, and even dictate the decisions we make about our own happiness. That is some powerful, scary shit. Because of what you have been told you have allowed yourself to buy into the fear. The fear that going for your dreams is hard, and scary, and I might fail, and a steady paycheck is a must have, and I am not good at making interview portfolios…and….and….


    Well, so what?


    Going for your dreams is hard, it is scary, and yes you might fail. But in the great words of Nelson Mandela:


     “There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is

    less than the one you are capable of living”



    And I for one believe that you owe it to yourself to discover exactly what that life is.




    Share in the comments below, what self limiting beliefs have you struggled with?


    How are you moving past them?


    Remember, you are not alone with your struggles and sharing with others can help you reflect on how far you have come as well as help out a fellow friend who is struggling right now.





    10 Reminders to keep going when you want to give up


    The easy road to success is a myth.


    In fact, it’s a down and out lie. Building your dreams is hard and there are no guarantees that everything you want will come out just right.


    This shit is hard. (sorry, no sugar coating available)


    But what’s even harder is feeling like you are struggling alone. That no one understands your struggles. Worse still are the feelings that are threatening to swallow you whole.


    You aren’t excited about life anymore and your fear is that, for the rest of your life, you will be stuck doing this thing that you hate. This thing that doesn’t light you up inside. In fact, this thing makes you feel like you have lost touch with yourself.


    Can I tell you something?


    You are not alone.


    What’s more is that I believe in you. To prove that point, I am sharing with you 10 reminders to keep going, to keep pushing.


    Trust your struggles because they have so much to teach you about yourself. For now, grab a glass of wine, take a break, and remind yourself how worth it this really is.



    10 Reminders to keep going when you want to give up:


    1. Fortune favors the brave.


    2. Selling your life for a paycheck is lame as hell


    3. Being able to live according to your own values EVERY DAY is nothing short of amazing


    4. Time is too precious to squander. Scary truth: you are not guaranteed a tomorrow.


    5. Regret is a terrible feeling.


    6. Your work will matter. You will feel fulfilled at the end of the day. And, ultimately, you’ll be padding your own bottom line, not that of someone else’s. (By the way, your boss thanks you for that jaguar they are driving. Beep-Beep!)


    7. YOU are valuable. Every bit of you. Your thoughts, your abilities, your personality, are all part of a powerful equation that is going to enable you to succeed and be every bit of the person you know you are.


    8. You’ll never have to beg for a raise or time off ever again. Can you imagine?!


    9. In addition to the above statement, you will have the luxury to design your life, your way. You can create your ideal work day that caters to when you work best from wherever it is that you work best.


    and lastly,


    10. You will gain back your sense of self with every big step you take. In the words of Marie Forleo, clarity comes from engagement not thought. Every step you take will set you up for your next.




    Don’t settle for asking permission to live your life. You are far too determined to live your life that way any longer. Don’t let anyone stand in your way.


    To your success!





    Friday Finds: Must-know writing tips



    You, my friend, are a word smithing machine.


    You’re equal parts of comedic hero, lightning fast wit, and downright bold thought provoking sentiments…in your head that is.


    Aren’t you tired of censoring yourself? Struggling to come up with the right words? Tired of thinking one thing and yet writing another. You have opinions, sure. You have a point of view, yeah.


    Stop cheating everyone out of it!



    Finding the right words to express your exact sentiments, while also demonstrating how witty and well-rounded you are, can definitely present itself as a unique challenge.


    You want to make sure to toe that fine line of endearing and quirky vs creepy and scammy. You want your words to convey your ability to jump off the page and into the heads of your readers so that they will happily hand over their email address for even more of your golden words, fork over their hard earned dollars for your services, and share your wisdom with others.



    But, you my friend, are worthy of said challenge.


    Afterall, your not just writing to put words onto screen, right?



    You’ve got bigger, loftier motivations. Like growing your reach. Building your list. Writing a book. And maybe even selling said book. Being a source for a publication or blog that you absolutely adore. Booking your services out a whole year in advance. Traveling the world to speak and share your knowledge. The possibilities could take over the rest of this blog post.


    Words have the ability to be very powerful. To convey trust. To promote a cause. To express your beliefs, thoughts, secrets, and desires. But the difference between your words resonating powerfully with your readers is the manner in which you string them together.


    You are in for a treat today. I have compiled some food for thought from some of the best of the best. See below for some tasty tidbits to change those clunky words into strings of thought that invoke action from your readers once and for all.



    Are you (accidentally) using words that trigger people to stop listening?

    How to structure a powerful blog post, book chapter, or keynote talk

    8 Phrases that amazing communicators know and use



    The #1 secret to writing great copy

    3 (top secret ultra James Bond ways) to add more personality to your writing

    4 Practices to help you get focused and clear BEFORE you start writing!



    Create (contagious) viral content

    10 ways to write damn good copy

    How power words can help you bulk up your sales



    So, what do you think?


    Rearing to get writing?


    I thought so. You got this. Really I knew you had it all along, now you just need to prove it to yourself.


    Tell me what article really lit a fire for you. What did you find helpful? And how are you inspired to better your writing?