Travel and Business: How I make it happen

Freedom is my jam.

statue of liberty halloweenAs a little girl, I was OBSESSED with the Statue of Liberty. I’m not sure what it was about her, but I thought she was the coolest lady I had ever seen. Maybe it was because she had an entire island to herself. Maybe it was because she was so big and steadfast. Maybe it was because of the ferry ride to go see her. Who knows, but I was serious about her and wanted to be just like her when I grew up.

I posed like her and of course had a few Halloweens where I got to dress up like her (One was in college, but I’d like to point out that I didn’t cheapen her royal status by going slutty statue. This lady deserves respect people!).

At the time, I think I was a cute kid who was infatuated by a big green lady. Now I think I was a kid who deeply understood all that she stood for and saw her as THE symbol of ultimate freedom {I mean HELLO, she had her own island!}.

I have my own business for many reasons, but if you ask me what my biggest why is it’s that I want to go where I want, when I want. That’s my big selfish why and it’s completely based on having the freedom of a career that allows me to do that.

But dreaming of that and making it happen are two different things and I’m often asked just how I’m able to travel so much with my business. Here’s how….

1. Life circumstances
IMG_2179At this point in my life, it’s just me and Buddy. I don’t have a partner or kids and there’s no one else relying on my constant presence in one place. That’s not to say you can’t do what I’m doing with a family, as I know people who do, but simply that it would look different and that’s not the experience I’m currently having. So when it comes to decisions while traveling, it’s just up to me and those sweet brown eyes.

2. The money piece
This is a big question I get asked and I know you’re curious! I chose to put all of my stuff in a storage unit last December, so I don’t have a place of residence. That means no rent, utilities, or other bills in that area. My storage unit is $96 a month, which I consider my rent payment. So this means that any money I would’ve paying towards rent or mortgage is now my travel budget.

3. Handling uncertainty
There is a lot of uncertainty when you don’t have a home to call your own. There’s a piece to the traveling that leaves you feeling ungrounded and at times feeling like you don’t know where you fit in the world. I faced much of that early on, but uncertainty and I are kind of BFFs at this point. It’s just become part of the journey and I know that in order to have this life, that’s going to be a piece of it.

However, there were certain things I absolutely knew before I embarked on this journey. I have two homes that I know if I show up on the doorstep with Buddy, anytime day or night, they will take me in (and be happy to see me!). One is my parents and the other is a good friend in Wilmington, NC. So I handled that piece of uncertainty right up front and when you know you have options if shit hits the fan it makes dealing with the rest of the uncertainties easier.

4. Support
Much like handling uncertainty, there were pieces I had in place before committing to this and the biggest one was the support. I have a TON of support from family and friends. My parents are begging me to come stay with them. My friend is always asking me when I’ll be back to visit. Other friends help with Buddy, moral support, and offer their homes to me as well.

I have a lot of people who want to see me succeed, live my dream, and be truly happy. They are really supportive of my vision for my own life and are lit up by the possibilities I show them for their own. So not only are they willing to let me stay with them, they actually see it as a gift that I can stay with them and a way they can contribute to my dream. What friend doesn’t want to help another friend and help make their dreams come true? I’m amazingly blessed and it’s been a practice in receiving to have so much help. {I really had to open myself up to the help… I can be very headstrong, stubborn, and independent.}

5. Logistics
2015-04-10 12.00.45-2Of course there’s the simple logistics of it all. For the most part, I travel by car and I’ve stayed within a few states. This is very much by design because I want to have Buddy with me wherever I go. It’s also what’s worked for my calendar and certain commitments I’ve had. We are planning a cross country trip in the later part of the year, which will bring on even more logistics to consider! I do fly occasionally, but try to make those trips 2 weeks or less because I like to have my dog with me and Bud doesn’t fly.

I also enjoy being in locations for 2-4 weeks. When you’re working and traveling, there isn’t time for sight seeing like a typical vacation. I fit it in around my work, plus I really love getting a feel for a place and feeling truly settled. The longer timeframes allow me to do that.

Because I’m in places longer, I like to rent houses rather than hotels. It’s more comfortable for me, plus it’s much better for Buddy. I get rentals from AirBnB or related sites when I’m not staying with friends.

I also plan about 3 months out, which I never used to do. I was definitely a last minute planner. But when you’re trying to ensure you and your dog don’t have to sleep in your car, you get really good at planning! So I have a general idea of where I’m going to be and where I’ll stay for about 3 months at a time. Often I don’t have exact dates, but I’ve found a general idea is all I need to make it work.

There are definitely times when the logistics are a huge piece to figure out, but overall I’ve found it relatively simple and things come together pretty easily.

6. Commitment
Sunset backThere is a huge piece to this lifestyle and dream I had that’s going to sound like an afterthought. It’s really the heart and soul of it all – I have a vision for my life and I’m committed to that vision, so when I got the opportunity to make this happen for myself I just saddled up and fucking made it happen. {That F bomb is seriously needed for emphasis.}

Much like being an entrepreneur, this journey takes some serious commitment. And guts. But really, the decision was easy to make. I have always wanted to be able to go where I want, when I want. I relied on my passion and trusted myself enough to know I would figure it out. And I’m still figuring it out. New opportunities and adventures unfold for me everyday and I’ve set everything up so that I can live out my vision and enjoy my life.

 

So that’s how I make it all work! It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it! And there’s a lot of ways to do life… it’s about finding what works for you in the season you’re in. I know I won’t always want to travel like this and at some point I’ll want to settle down. So right now, I’m riding the wave and enjoying the view.

Copywriting 101: Get some words on the page… TODAY

Let’s talk copy!

Afterall, it’s how you communicate with your audience and we get to know you. And if it doesn’t do either of those well then your biz will fall flat. Copywriting is a key skill that every entrepreneur must learn!

So we’ve got 2 videos for you today to up your copy game.

{be nice… they’re my first video blogs. I mean, I’m a writer, okay?!}

Get your head straight and your words flowing with this exercise:

I know what you’re thinking. Seriously Amy?! I don’t want to do belief work around my writing. I just want to sit down and write.

And I get it. I really do. But I promise this works. My clients have transformed the way they approach their writing through using these strategies.

And if you’re stuck on not having a clue what to write and talk about, the video below is for you.

Now get some words on the page so you can keep flexing those copywriting muscles and take advantage of a limited time opportunity that’s absolutely perfect if you’ve been struggling with your copy.

Flash Sale Copy Review

I’m giving 10 people the opportunity to get their copy reviewed, plus an hour of personal copy coaching to really get support in this area.

This is not something I normally offer, but I heard your cries for help. Copy is one of the biggest headaches that entrepreneurs struggle with, so you’re not alone! If that’s currently you and you’d like to figure out how to create copy that sells, get more information about this opportunity here.

Fix your current copy and get a better understanding of how to write for your audience. We need to hear what you’ve got to say… but we need to hear it in a way that clearly communicates your message and shows us who you are at the same time.

Remember that writing is a skill that takes a lot of practice. The first step is getting some words on the page!

Those who are most comfortable with uncertainty are the most successful… here’s how to get comfortable

I didn’t want to leave. Buddy and I spent a month at a beach house on Tybee Island, GA and I simply did NOT want to go.

Why should I?

My own space steps from the beach. Morning runs on flat land with palm trees blowing in the wind and neighbors waving hello. The vibe of a beach town that makes me feel at home and my soul feel free.

tybee collageOf course I didn’t want to leave.

I packed up the car and took one last walk out onto the sand. I saw the waves crashing, the birds in flight, and felt the sand beneath my toes.

And then something happened…

I was at peace.

I became okay with leaving this beautiful spot and my little slice of heaven that was all mine for a blissful month.

My heart felt lighter, the sadness was gone, and pure gratitude was left in it’s place. And I thought to myself, “huh, I’m okay letting go. And I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

In fact, I’m kind of a pro at recreating my life.

Perhaps this is why friends call me courageous. Perhaps why I can keep on moving regardless of the fear. Perhaps why I look back on my life and hardly recognize who I was in certain moments.

I recreate in the face of massive amounts of uncertainty.

My coach said to me once that those who are the most comfortable with uncertainty are the most successful.

It makes sense. Being willing to take the next step without knowing how it’s going to turn out. Leaving behind the corporate gig to start your own business. Having the ability to push forward despite not having a clue how something is going to turn out.

But what I realized when I was standing on the beach that day was that being comfortable with uncertainty is a gift. But it’s also one you have to work for and most people never master.

How exactly does one practice uncertainty? How do you get comfortable with the uncertainty of entrepreneurship so you can create the life you’ve always envisioned?

1. Gratitude and Trust
Saying goodbye to my perfect little beach house was difficult, but everything shifted when I realized that it could be mine again. And not only that, I wasn’t sad to be leaving, I was happy I was ever there in the first place!

When you trust that you can experience those feelings of elation/success/abundance (etc) again, it’s easier to practice gratitude for the experience and then move on to the next one.

I didn’t allow myself to believe that I would never feel this way again. In fact, I stood on that beach and KNEW that I would soon again feel so free, joyful, and at peace. A great mantra to use in this moment is “this or something better.”

Get out of lack and the idea that you’ll never have something this great again. You’ve experienced it once, so you know it’s possible for you to have it! Can you trust that you will feel successful again? Abundant? Happy and healthy? Whatever it may be for you, give gratitude that you’ve felt it once and believe it can be yours again.

2. Recognize the Illusion
The thing about uncertainty is that we’ve created a false sense of security about our current situation, as if life isn’t full of ups and downs and curveballs can come our way.

We’ve lead ourselves to believe that our full-time jobs are secure and that paycheck will never disappear. That our partners will remain steady and continue to be by our side. That our children will grow up to be great adults and outlive us.

We’ve gotten comfortable with the idea that life will just keep on ticking perfectly by. It’s not until those curveballs come that we realize we had lulled ourselves into a false sense of security.

When I learned to recognize that me being employed was actually under the control of someone higher than me, that my husband and I could change in ways that didn’t make our marriage work, that despite all of my good intentions sometimes things don’t turn out as I planned… that’s when I realized that getting comfortable with uncertainty may be the best way to feel secure.

Take a look at that thing that’s keeping you feeling safe, and potentially even stuck in place, and really figure out if it’s as safe as you believe. For the wanna-be entrepreneur, this is often the moment where you realize your full time gig isn’t actually giving you that much and putting your future in your own hands is a much safer bet. Oh snap!

Tap in to realize that what you think is your security blanket, might not be it at all. And that leap? It might not be as much of a stretch as you think.

3. Practice, practice, practice
Oh the fun part! Besides shifting your perspective, the best way to get comfortable with uncertainty is to practice feeling it. Actively put yourself into situations where the outcome is uncertain, so you can get used to how it feels in your body, how you react to it, and you won’t run every time you start to feel panic.

Here are some ways to practice:

  • Go on a date, especially a blind date or with someone you’ve never met (nothing says uncertainty to me more than showing up a bar and praying the guy you’re meeting isn’t looney tunes)
  • Apply for a new job or new position (self-promotion, waiting, and rejection, oh my!)
  • Try out a new exercise class that’s way out of your comfort zone (pole dancing anyone?)
  • Have a difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding (rip the bandaid…. trust me)
  • Play with the idea of moving (you don’t have to actually move in order for this one to work – feel what it would be like to be in a new neighborhood where you don’t know anyone, what would it be like to transfer to a new city, or pretend like you’re moving to an entirely new country)
  • Make that appointment you’ve been avoiding (doctor, dentist, colonoscopy…. that one where you’re afraid to know the results)
  • Practice smiling and saying hello to everyone you see (to some, this is terrifying because you never know how the other person will respond)
  • Break a rule (nothing crazy okay? Take a drink into a store that has a sign on the door that says no outside drinks allowed, let time run out at the parking meter, ask the lady at the post office to give you tape even though you know they want you to buy it instead (did that today and she gave it to me!)… play around with this and simply feel what it’s like to not know what’s going to happen as a result of your actions)

Much like getting out of your comfort zone, learning to get comfortable with uncertainty is a key trait of resilient people.

And resilient people?

They’re the successful ones.

Are you wasting time?

I’ve been thinking…

Lately I’ve had several people say to me that people were a waste of their time. Or that they’re wasting time with them. Or even that I wasted their time (ouch!).

And on the surface it seems like a reasonable thing to say. I mean, we’re all really busy right? And we all have 24 hours in a day and this one lifetime and want to make the best of it. So yeah, let’s not waste each other’s time shall we.

And then I really got to thinking about that and got quite enraged. Because how can another human being be a waste of time?!

HOW?!

Much of this discussion was centered around romantic relationships, so let’s take a look there for a second. I don’t consider any of my ex-boyfriends a waste of time. I mean honestly! The idea sounds so crazy to me.

Each and every one of them have been a part of my journey and my learning. The ones (yes, plural) that my family didn’t like, the one that was pretty much my perfect match but I wasn’t ready for yet, the one that was full of lust and made me wonder if we really had substance, that one I married, the one who taught me the most about the kind of woman I wanted to be in my life and my business.

I could look back over the years and years of dating and find something great about each of these men or the lessons they taught me. Not a single one was a waste of my time. I wouldn’t be where I am today – me as a person, CEO, and not to mention the amazing men I attract into my life currently – if it weren’t for my time spent with these souls.

The same goes for business, education, coaches, etc.

And yet… we are so hard on ourselves aren’t we?!

– Why, oh why did I spend that money?
– Why, oh why did I sign up to work with her?
– Why, oh why did I sign up to be in that program or take yet another group course that I haven’t even touched yet?

Oh boy.

It would be so easy to get into the “I wasted it” trap. I urge you not to go there.

I’ve realized lately what an energy drain that is, not to mention the fact that it makes you wrong about your decisions. And when you’re feeling wrong about your decisions, you slowly erode your trust in yourself. When you no longer trust yourself, you no longer have what it takes to meet your goals. 

It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s also an easy one to fall into…. the money is gone, the time is gone, you’re ovaries are twitching (just me?). It’s SO easy to say, “hey wait a minute, where the F did the time go and how much of my life have I wasted?! EEK!”

So the next time you find yourself falling into thinking that you wasted your time, energy, or resources, consider these ideas to reframe your experience and make the most of it –

1. What did you learn?
A bit obvious, but seriously the BIGGEST thing! Life and relationships are a series of lessons learned. The trick is to learn them! And if you don’t learn them the first time, you’ll continue to receive the experiences until you do (hello, half of my ex-boyfriends!).

If you label something as a waste, you haven’t learned the lesson it was there to bring you. And it WILL be back. Take a deeper look and see what’s waiting to be discovered.

2. What’s right about the situation?
Similar to learning the lesson, every situation is an opportunity to find something right about it. Did you meet a new friend in that course that you half-assed? Did you learn to stand up for yourself in that stressful relationship? Did the situation prepare you for what’s to come in your life?

Just like learning the lesson, you MUST find something right about the situation. And yes, even that ex-boyfriend that cheated on you with your best friend at the time. Seriously. There is something there that was perfectly right about it at the time that you need to recognize. What power there is in that!

3. Gratitude
Once you’ve done 1 and 2 above, it’s easy to be grateful for the experience. How awesome is it that life has sent you the people and situations you need in order to learn EXACTLY what it is you need to learn?! Take some time to anchor it in. And then take the time to thank yourself for continuing to learn, grow, and go after what you want. What a powerful being you are!

 

I am a PRO at these. If you need help, comment or reach out! It’s a practice and sometimes it can be very difficult, but it can be learned. Know that nothing is ever wasted. Ever.

5 Ways to Stop the Blahs from Ruining Your Business

I’ve just returned to rainy and cold Charlotte, NC after 9 days in sunny, beautiful Jamaica. To say it’s a shock to my system is not even close to how different I’m feeling! Yowzers!

And that’s life… sometimes we just find ourselves in a funk – personal, biz, romantic or otherwise.

I’m here to say it’s all a-okay and part of the flow with life, but the danger is when you allow your vibe to linger in the blah territory for too long. It absolutely will start to affect your business.

There’s a lot out there these days with staying in your feminine and being in the flow and business not having to be so hard. But sometimes I know you’re wondering what in the hell that all means?!

I did too.

And what I’ve now discovered after several years on this entrepreneurial journey is that business really is easier when you’re in the right headspace, you’re not struggling against life and instead moving with it, and you’ve got a generally good vibe happening.

Which is why it’s SO important to know how to get yourself out of that funk and into the good vibes – stat!

Here’s what I do to keep the magic in my life when I’m feeling less than fabulous –

1. Reach out to community
This piece is SO critical and I haven’t always been the best at it. In fact, there have been periods of time in my life when I was quite depressed and I wouldn’t leave my house, much less chat with friends. Now I’ve seen the power of a true community of girlfriends and I tell ya, it’s transformational.

The Jamaican GangI’ve worked at cultivating friendships that differ in various ways and truly love each of these women for what they bring to my life. There’s my BFF from high school who knew me way back when, the single friends I talk dating and men with, the yogis who help me see things from a different perspective with loving energy, the online biz friends who I’ve never met but hold me to my commitments and keep me accountable, the ladies who will simply text me good vibes when I need them.

Who can you reach out to for support? If you’re missing these relationships in your life, how can you open up to creating this community for yourself? Are you doing the work to cultivate the connections in your life?

2. Music and movement
I’ve always loved music, but I’ve really become aware of how much it affects me. The right song at just the right moment can instantly shift me out of some blah space. I have a variety of music on throughout the day and it’s not unusual for me to take dance breaks or bust a move while fixing lunch. I believe that being in touch with our bodies is the key to creativity, happiness, and overall well being. Music allows me to bring movement into my body and tap back into my most powerful tool. Dropping out of my head can bring amazing clarity to any situation and let’s me better see the magic in the everyday.

When was the last time you put on some tunes and went a little nuts? Can you allow yourself to be carried away by the music? What do you notice about your body and mood when you come back to the present?

3. Creating my day
I’m a firm believer in creating a life you don’t need a vacation from. So I work at creating my days so that I have a flow of work and play that
green smoothie and reggae
keeps me excited and energized. Sometimes this looks like working in my bikini in Jamaica and sometimes it’s as simple as putting my green smoothie in a wine glass. I typically ensure I include some yoga or running, healthy foods I enjoy, time with Buddy, and I start everyday with a short reading from the book Journey to the Heart and journaling. It’s powerful to understand I have the ability to create my day.

How are you creating your days? Are you fitting some fun and play in with your work? How can you shift your days to be more joyful?

4. Environment
Jamaica landscape collageIn the last two years I’ve become increasingly aware of the impact environment has on my entire well being. Never was this more apparent than when I was in Jamaica. The simple awareness of this is a huge AH-HA! Now I can create an environment that best works for me and know that on days I’m feeling less than fab, I can simply shift my environment and the fog will lift. I’m in a position to live where I want so I ensure to pick spots that lift me up. And of course there are times where I’m not totally jiving with a place, so I do what I can to get comfortable in the space, find the good, and know that it won’t last forever.

What can you do to change up your environment today? Is it getting rid of clutter, buying yourself flowers, opening the windows, changing up your desk, putting a new wallpaper up on your computer screen, or something more drastic like moving?

5. Get help from my coach
Having one-on-one support has become a non-negotiable for me. I always ensure I have a personal coach I go to for whatever is going on in my life. She is part of my community, but it’s important to me to have someone who has been where I have and who can walk me through challenges in a way that differs from friends. I have someone I trust and I reach out to her in between our coaching calls for anything I need. I also make sure not to listen to the peanut gallery and go to her for straightforward, loving, and honest advice that gets me back on track every time.

What’s stopping you from getting this level of support and what can you do to resolve that block? If you have a coach, are you reaching out when you need support or are you hiding?

And there ya have it! My quick tricks for keeping my vibe high and life in flow. Somedays it simply takes a commitment to yourself and your dreams to keep pushing through, but it’s also easier when you’re in a better head space. Co-creating with the universe and enjoying the magic of life is easier when you’re feeling the good vibes.

Practice getting yourself into that space and you’ll begin to see things shift around you!

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Need some extra inspiration?

Check out The Entrepreneurial Dream FREE Speaker Series. Superstar entrepreneurs are sharing how they personally overcame fear, confusion, and doubt to launch the business of their dreams (and make great money doing what they love).

Grab your seat now to catch these interviews and get a behind the scenes peek at ways experts are creating their lives with the right mindset.

 

Get confident: 3 fun ways to play with your power and level up in biz

Here’s the deal my love… much of this whole birthing a biz thing really just boils down to having the confidence to go for it.

It’s really step #1.

Sure there are SO many steps along the way, but it all begins with you having that dream and then having the confidence to act on it. But confidence is no easy thing you say.

How can you be confident in something you’ve never done before?

Practice!

You know those ladies who just ooze confidence no matter what they’re doing or who they’re with? That’s the kind of woman who takes actions on her dreams… no matter what.

Start practicing building your confidence muscle and you’ll be that woman we all look to and wonder how she does it in no time.

Here’s 3 FUN ways I like to play with my confidence:

1. Car dancing
Yep! Get your groove on mama! I love music and when I’m in the car I easily find myself rockin’ out behind the steering wheel. I allow myself to get lost in the moment and truly feel the fun of being THAT person at the stoplight.

Here’s why it works: you’ll notice yourself occasionally worrying about what those in other cars are thinking about you. When you do, you have the opportunity to turn your focus inward again and get back to fist pumping, finger drumstickin’, and some shoulder shimmies. This is excellent practice for learning to not care what other people think and to have fun getting lost in the moment! Imagine the effect that would have on other areas of your life!

2. Flash those pearly whites
A smile goes a long way to brightening someone else’s day and just simply makes you feel damn good to be alive. Practice smiling at everyone you meet from that hot guy at the gym you’ve been scoping out for a month (yeah girl, I’m talkin’ to you) to the grocery girl who looks like she’s ready for a xanax. First you’ll notice the response as people smile back, strike up a conversation, or are even caught off guard by your gesture. Then over time you’ll begin to notice how their reaction becomes less and less important as it becomes more of your natural way of being.

Here’s why it works: smiles are contagious! People simply want to be around happy people. And how fun is it to make someone’s day simply because a beautiful, radiant woman just smiled at them?! Not to mention all that science about how smiling has a biological effect on the brain and your mood. Sometimes in a particularly challenging yoga pose, my instructors will cue for us to smile so we can release all that good shit (I don’t believe that’s the scientific name for it but I’ll have to check Google) into our bodies. All this smiling at others helps you drop some of those walls and become much more approachable, plus it simply feels great. Confidence factor immediately improves!

3. Do something a bit out of character
You gotta stretch lady! Baby steps totally tested and approved! For me, this has looked like everything from wearing something that I wasn’t sure I could pull off to trying aerial yoga to telling that random person in Starbucks that I’m a writer. All of these felt a bit scary at first. Would I look like an idiot? Would they believe me? Could I really pull this off? (No, yes, YES!) Have fun doing small things that are out of your comfort zone and give you that sense that you’re being a little bit mischievous. This looks different for all of us so the possibilities are endless!

Here’s why it works: to do something you’ve never done before, you’ve got to get a bit comfortable with being uncomfortable and doing it anyway. Practicing with small, fun steps helps you play around with what it feels like to have a few butterflies and then conquer them. It serves to remind you that going after what you want is FUN and you can enjoy the process, even when things feel a bit scary.

Birthing a business is fun and takes a ton of confidence… and sometimes we don’t even realize that’s the root of the issue. If you can play with silly things like these, imagine what you can do when you get super focused on that big dream?

Yowee. Watch out world.

Have fun with these and tell us in the comments below how it went for you!

Getting shit done when shit hits the fan: how to keep moving in your biz when life gets cray cray

Life happens. And shit happens. Boy does it ever.

fanAnd your business is still there waiting for your love and attention.

So what do you do when life seems to get in the way and it’s threatening to pull you under?

Recently I had a pretty wild ride where life was pushing me to my limits and I simply didn’t have the option to put the biz on hold. And thank God. It gave me the opportunity to problem solve and see what I’m really made of.

The short version is that I was in the process of uncoupling from my partner of 2.5 years. Why uncoupling and not breaking up? Because we lived together and it was a process of several months before a final move out could happen.

So I’m ending this relationship with this man who I still adore and then I decide that instead of signing a year lease, I’m going to rent a storage unit and put all of my belongings into it for an indefinite period of time.

Oh yeah, good times.

And when it came time to move out, I had ONE day to pack up everything. One. Travel and work just didn’t allow any extra time.

That week was as crazy as you’re imaging. But I got through it and finished everything on my plate.

So I’ve learned a few things over the last few months about to keep moving in your business when your heart is breaking and shit is hitting the fan.

Here’s what I now know…

1. Have the meltdown
Sometimes that shit just needs to come out. Overflow. Pour out of you like a long dormant volcano erupting for the first time in 20 years. Let it.

There is such a release that happens once you allow yourself to feel the emotions. If you keep holding them in, you’re unfocused and holding back. Let yourself go there to feel them so you can then move on. For me this is everything from journaling to crazy dance breaks to insane fits of crying.

Move it out!

2. Keep your heart open 
There were times where I was writing and working with tears streaming down my face. In the past this would’ve been unimaginable to me. But throughout this heart break, I was so intent on keeping my heart open and not closing it off like I have in the past.

I stayed open to what the universe was bringing me. The people that showed up. All of the excitement that was buried under the tears. This allowed me to continue to experience life without curling up into a ball in the corner of the room.

One foot in front of the other. Focus on the next step. One thing at a time. All while feeling the pain. Heart breaking wide open.

3. Build your team and take the support
Entrepreneurs are the only people I know who think they can and should do it all on their own. I don’t know who started this nasty trend but it needs to stop. We’re human. We need help.

I’ve been blown away by the number of people who have supported me throughout this time. I’ve had quite the team behind me, none of which was directly related to my business. There’s been a team to help with the move, my dog, my sanity. You name it, I’ve had help through it.

I can’t stress this one enough. Take the support when it’s offered and get off that island. Find your team.

4. This is a test of your commitment
How you do one thing is how you do everything. And the themes in your life will show up everywhere, particularly in your business. Commitment has been a big one for me this year since (surprise!) I have commitment issues.

I began to notice how this fear of commitment in areas of my life was manifesting itself in my business. Getting clients who weren’t committed. Having people flake out on scheduled phone calls. Seeing people let life get in the way of their commitments to their biz.

I knew that I HAD to stay committed to my business no matter what. It was a test to see if I would keep the commitment I claimed to have.

If my business was the first thing to go out the window when things got tough then what kind of message was I sending to the universe, my clients, and my dreams?!

No way. I established it as a priority and didn’t waiver.

5. Let some things go
Since my business was a priority and timelines required me to do a ton in a short period of time, I simply had to let some other things go. This is different than the dreaded “s” word – sacrifice.

I don’t feel like I had to sacrifice my social life, daily yoga, or fun parts of my business. I simply did these things when I had the time and otherwise let go of the idea of filling my calendar to the brim with lots of activities.

So now there’s a long to do list of “wants” in my planner. Some of them I’ll do, some of them I’ll completely let go of. It felt better to accomplish the immediate tasks and stay committed than it did to think about trying to complete every last thing on the list.

There’s definitely freedom in letting go.

 

So that’s the scoop of how I worked my way through a break up to have the best month in business ever.

And now I know I can handle life AND business. No matter what.

No shame in riding the crazy waves,
Amy

PS – wine was also involved

 

Winning the top prize: What you can learn from my first real manifesting experience

I had the most incredible experience at an event in San Diego last week. It’s as if I could FEEL myself stepping into a bigger game and truly creating a new level for myself.

And as incredible as this was, what I love the most is that I can share some key things that will help you in your own business.

So here’s what happened… the coach said on day one that she was going to do a personal biz map for 2015 for one person in the audience.

Just one! Out of about 275 people.

So we all knew it was coming. And yet on day one I thought, “well that’s nice.” Seriously. That’s it. No signs of me even wanting everyone’s eyes on me and my business. (Scary!)

So we get to day three and she picks me!

People pay $30,000 a year to work with her personally and here I was standing in a room full of amazing entrepreneurs having her walk me through my very own personalized plan.

Unreal. Truly.

There were definitely some things I did to set myself up to be chosen and I want to share them with you so you can apply them to your own business.

So here we go…
1. I listened to my coach
The night before at the team challenge, my coach looked at me and said, “Amy you should get that plan. Tomorrow, when she asks, just stand up and go to the mic. Just do it.” Prior to my coach looking at me and saying this, it hadn’t even occurred to me that I should even try to make this happen. But she said it with such certainty and belief in me that I listened.

2. I prepped myself
As I was getting dressed that morning I was visualizing myself standing at that mic. I could see me standing there and looking at her on the stage. So when I entered the meeting rooms for that day, I strategically picked out a seat closest to a mic. And during the morning sessions, I was telling myself that I was going to be the one chosen. I just kept repeating it to myself.

3. I didn’t leave room for doubt
Every time I told myself I was going to be the one chosen, a pit in the bottom of my stomach rose upwards. My heart started beating faster and my thoughts started going a mile a minute. Every time. So I simply noticed the feelings and pushed them aside and repeated again, “I’m going to be the one chosen.” And when she said, “who wants me to do their plan for them?” I immediately stood up and went to the mic. I didn’t even think. I just moved.

4. I spoke my truth
She looked at me and I was so dumbfounded that I couldn’t speak. She actually asked me, “are you going to speak?” Haha. Seriously! So I finally said yes and she started asking me questions. I answered each one of them as truthful as I could. At one point my mind started going “OMG what do I need to say to convince her to pick me” and as if I was watching myself from outside I returned to the present moment and simply focused on answering the questions as they came.

And that was it. She announced to a room full of people I look up to, “I’m going to do your plan.”

I was still shaking. The whole time I was up there!

{Luckily my yoga comes in handy when I’m freaking out and I can always remember to breathe.}

And that’s truly all I did to create that experience for myself. These simple 4 things. And yet they didn’t feel that simple at the time when my knees are knocking, my mind is racing, and my heart was beating faster than comfortable.

But if you only get one thing from my experience, let it be that I didn’t leave room for doubt and just did it anyway. And that was my biggest lesson of the entire week.

And that shit paid off. Big time.

So where in your life are you leaving room for doubt and allowing it to talk you out of what you truly want? Share below and start practicing your version of jumping up to the mic!

How I won $12,000

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an event in San Diego with a room full of superstar entrepreneurs at all stages in their journey. There were people already in the 7 figures and people who haven’t even started yet.

SD bayIt was inspiring to say the least. More take-aways coming your way soon! But first… I know you want to know how I won $12,000 worth of business building tools and programs!

Let’s set the scene… it’s 7pm on the second day of the event. We’re on our second day of 12 hours worth of nonstop seminars, networking, and learning.

{Not to mention the fact that my body stayed on East Coast time the whole time so I was up at 4am and going til 9pm every day. Whew!}

They announced there would be a team challenge for this portion of the event. I had been prepared for some sort of endurance challenge and was already psyhcing myself up to be in it to win it!

Honestly, the team thing threw me off a bit. I knew on my own I could do it, but would I have other people around me who were as committed as I was? {<— take note}

So the event host announces we need to move to the next room and we’ll be split up in teams of 10. As everyone was filing out of the room, I waited for my coach who was also at the event. I was very careful to be right beside her as we walked to the next room. I knew there was NO WAY she was not winning this thing.

From there, we formed teams of 10. Each group got a ribbon. The rules were simple: don’t let go of the ribbon and follow the directions.

We then were told a series of steps that led us to get entangled in the ribbon. And finally were told that the first team to untangle themselves and sit down would win.

You know the outcome, so let’s go through exactly how we made it happen:
1. Aligned ourselves with A players
I was going to do whatever it took to put myself in a group with my coach. I knew she would win. And the same was true for the other group members. We were all focused on finding a group that we knew would get us where we wanted to go. Teamwork baby!

2. Set the vision
We immediately joined hands in a circle in our group. We were freakin’ IN it to win it from the get go. And as we held hands and drew ourselves into a tighter circle, we asked each other what our vision was. To win of course!

3. Declaring our why and getting buy in
We then shared our why for wanting to win with the person beside us. Some of them were simply because they wanted the products for free and others, like myself, were more about stepping into a bigger game in life and business. The key here is that every single team member had a why and we had buy in for the entire group.

4. Maintaining connection
As we followed the instructions to get tangled in our ribbon, we still maintained eye contact with one another. We would complete the task and then immediately turn so that we were all still looking in towards the circle rather than in many different directions. I noticed this wasn’t the case with other teams. This kept a stronger bond within our group throughout the entire game.

5. Strategic thinking
We had a sense what the final step would be and we were strategically planning how to take the small steps to make the last big step easier. We followed all of the instructions but also remained looking inward. We also took the time to really listen to the instructions and then follow them in a way that best served our group.

6. Patience AND going with the flow
When the final instruction came to untangle our ribbons, we also weren’t allowed to talk. No worries because we had an incredible connection at this point! As the ribbon began to untangle, we each had to wait our turn to step over, go under, or turn around. And because there was no talking, there was this beautiful silent dance as we all worked in harmony and quickly, but without rushing, completed the task.

And we freakin’ won! In a room of about 200 people!

Two other tidbits to make note of:
1. I really believed I would win
I really and truly believed that our team would win. I could see it. I could feel it. And I really, really believed it.

2. We celebrated!
After our win, we hugged, cheered, and celebrated our victory! We got the event photographer to take a group photo and even had them cut the ribbon so we could each have a piece. And it felt even better than I had imagined before we started.

And that is how I won $12,000 worth of fabulous biz stuff!

So tell me, what is your biggest takeaway from this story and these lessons? What are you going to focus on and apply in your own business today?

To our abundance!
Amy

An EPIC post on visibility: a new tattoo, my first video, and the play by play that gets really personal

Visibility is one of the biggest things I get asked about and seems to be a huge piece of the puzzle for entrepreneurs. So once we get super clear on things like our message, audience, offerings, and such, the next step of course is putting it all out there.

And wow does that seem BIG.

It brings up all of our insecurities, every time we were teased in elementary school, and makes us question ourselves on a totally new level we didn’t even know was there.

It’s a big freakin’ deal – especially if you’re the transformational coach type or the product you’re selling is yourself.

It’s like the ultimate job interview day in and day out.

So yeah, it’s big.

And it must be done (if you want to be successful of course). But how?

And that is the question that brings us to the most epic post on visibility ever!

This one is long, but worth it friends. Because if you’re struggling at all with putting yourself out there, there’s a ton of info for you in this post –

  • my first video ever where I commit to upleveling my own visibility (listen in for lessons in fear and limiting beliefs)
  • every step of my journey through visibility (the very real and very raw play-by-play)
  • the guide to upping your own visibility game (keep this one handy whenever you feel those butterflies)

The idea for this post began with my desire to get a tattoo…

So, a couple of things to point out from the video that are mucho important:

  • It’s not perfect – I posted it anyway.
  • I didn’t really know what I was going to say, but had a general idea. It flowed easily once I rooted myself in the whole purpose – to be of service in a bigger way.
  • I was deeply inspired by this experience and that’s what led to my first ever video, a new level of vulnerability, and a ridiculous amount of insight for others who might be struggling with this visibility thing.
  • It’s hilarious that I left my sunglasses on (they’re prescription), but you can still see me raising my eyebrows enough to get some good facial expressions!

The point here is that you just keep stepping up into new levels of visibility for yourself. To some, getting that tattoo would’ve been NBD (no big deal). To me it was pretty huge. Okay actually, it was beyond huge as I keep staring at my wrist as I write this.

So whatever these steps are for you, continue to feel into them and make the stretch that feels a little scary, but oh-so-right.

And to really nail this point home, I’m sharing my own play-by-play on how I’ve done this on my own journey. It’s super real and it’s super raw.

I share it with an open heart and a vulnerability that feels right for this moment.

So here we go!

My own journey to getting visible as an entrepreneur…

2011:
Started to dream of really making IT happen – at some point

Not sure what IT will look like, but it’s time to stop running and being so miserable trying to fit in the box. But there are SO many questions. How? What will people think? Can I really do it? Was is IT exactly? Hmmm… I’ve always loved writing, but that scares the hell out of me because a) am I good enough? and b) well that just seems hard – and impossible.

Jump in slowly by creating my final project for my Master’s degree around writing and starting a blog. Man, this degree is awesome! Get awesome feedback on my writing and getting used to putting myself out there through the project. Not as hard as I thought. Cool! Dedicated the project to my ex husband. Shocked myself but realized the experience was taking me into a new version of myself that I was totally digging. Wow – growth.

Jan 2012:
Decided this would be the year I would leave my full time job – no matter what

Eek! Still no closer to really knowing how it was going to work, but became less worried about the how and more committed to the dream. Began to spill the beans to close friends and family about my plans and dreams. Met with some excitement, but also detecting an undercurrent of – what is that exactly? – scepticism perhaps? It’s cool. Something deep down tells me not to play into their fears.

May 2012:
Become increasingly unhappy in my full time job and sharing my plans to leave (at some point – soon – maybe?) with more and more people, including my boss

But also trying to sell the house and quitting while I have a mortgage payment seems a bit crazy. But I’m miserable. Lots of stress.

August 2012:
Got fed up enough to say to hell with it and quit full time job

The same day I decided to leave, I received an offer on the house. I was THAT serious about leaving. Didn’t even have time to think about what I was going to do with my life. Was way more involved in contracts, finishing up at my office, and packing. Felt pure joy and freedom. Weight lifted off my shoulders as soon as I came out to everyone that I just wasn’t built to do the office thing.

August – Dec 2012:
Planned time off to figure out what I wanted to do and take a break

Moved to Charlotte. Thought I would use the time to write a book but that proves more difficult than I thought. Didn’t write the book or figure it out. Did however enjoy the time off and away from an office.

Jan – April 2013:
Struggled with knowing I needed to get back to work, but felt doomed at the idea of going back to the office. HAD to figure something out. Lots of struggle, heartache, and fights with my partner.

Thought I was done feeling lost when I left my full time gig, but surprise! new level of lost sank into my core.

Started to write more about my divorce and realized how helpful it was to other women. Oddly enough, didn’t find anything odd in putting it out there. Realized I was much more comfortable being vulnerable in writing than anything else. Kept sharing and helping, but wanted to earn money from coaching women going through similar things.

Didn’t have a clue what I was doing and was frustrated with all of the stories about how easy it was to make it happen online. None of that was happening in my own life.

May 2013:
Stepped up my game BIG time and spent $5000 on a private intensive with Gina DeVee in Montecito, CA.

Mom was worried about safety going to a stranger’s house and me flying to CA alone. Family didn’t understand the whole thing at all. Made mental note to point out that my PhD sister goes all over the country to conferences and this is just a more personal version of that. Totally freaking out about the cost and yet knew that something had to change. Sensed this was going to one day be a huge turning point.

Never told partner how much that cost. Knew how that conversation was going to go and was NOT interested in another fight. Felt crappy to hide in my own house. New level of feeling alone creeps in. Feeling torn between out there in the online space and feeling so hidden away in my everyday life.

June 2013:
Knew shifts had happened since working with Gina, but struggled on my own to put it together and with being consistent. Figured out quickly that I needed ongoing support if I was going to make it as an entrepreneur.

statue of liberty halloweenJune – August 2013:
Worked with a personal coach weekly for ongoing support. Began to truly come out of the entrepreneur closet. Terrified.

Coach said I needed photos of myself on the website and in my newsletters. I didn’t have any good current ones, so I used a photo of myself when I was four. Made sense with the theme of freedom but I was hiding BIG time.

I mean hello, I’m a writer. I enjoy sitting behind my keyboard and clicking away. What’s all this nonsense about?! My words are my power! No one really wants to see me.

Coach said great to finally putting a photo of myself out there, now what about a current photo? I used what I had which was a photo from a recent trip to Maine. I was wearing sunglasses and covered up since it was a bit chilly. He pointed out that the photo was dark and I needed to get new photos taken ASAP. About had a meltdown at the idea.

Maine on the waterCoach asked what the hell that was all about and I weeped on the phone that if I put photos of myself out there then people would see I’m not attractive. Very painful to admit and to realize that I thought this about myself. Coach assured me I was indeed quite attractive and that this was a huge turning point for myself and my biz. Indeed. And yikes!

August 2013:
Got photos taken with a friend who’s a photographer. It helped that I knew her and was comfortable with her, even though I was totally stiff in front of the camera. Felt good to finally “come out” and own who I was in those photos. Felt more confident with myself just by going through the process. Recognized this was a huge step.

Added photos to the website and Facebook page by holding my breath and saying fuck it. If I had thought about it for too long, it wouldn’t have happened.

Allowed myself to continue the fuck it vibe so I could put my stuff out there without freaking out every time. Was.not.easy. Did it anyway.

first biz photos collage

Sometime in mid to late 2013:
Got more feedback and clients and felt like I was actually in business instead of kinda playing with a hobby. Cool!

But still didn’t feel like enough or building fast enough. Did a brief stint as a temp employee in an office for some steady pay. Seemed like the answer to helping my partner feel at ease about this roller coaster ride and wanted to show I cared enough about him and the relationship to take this step. Yet again wanted to shoot myself (I realize this probably isn’t the best metaphor and may even be a sensitive subject for some, but it’s the most real thing coming to mind at the moment). That didn’t last long. Hey, I tried. Sigh.

Sept 2013 – Jan 2014:
Got more and more comfortable with being visible.

No longer care what people from high school might be thinking or if my family didn’t get it. Well okay – still care, but far less and far less frightened of their reaction.

Got more and more involved in Facebook groups and putting myself out there in the online space. Asked for what I needed – help, mastermind, collaborations, etc.

Played around with telling people what I do – practiced whenever I had the chance. Changed up my response to “what do you do” to see what felt good in my body, what their reaction was, and how I felt claiming this new identity for myself.

Began to better embrace the “outgoing” part of my outgoing introvert personality. Got a job at my yoga studio working the front desk. Best environment EVER. All conscious communication, love, and community. But the cleaning toilets part was totally bringing down my vibe. Hmmm.

Loved the environment, coworkers, and free yoga. Seriously struggled with balance between being in the studio and my other work. Felt overwhelmed often. Brought crazy, overwhelm vibe to studio. Soon realized that a) I don’t do well with jumping back and forth between projects/jobs and b) I was earning $9 an hour instead of the $40+ an hour in my biz. Had to quit. Visibility upped big time as I yet again committed full time to my biz and realized I wouldn’t be an employee ever again.

Jan – April 2014:
Booked with clients from referrals.

Badass! I’m getting clients without marketing! Who are ready to commit! Who want to get started right away! Dreams do come true!

Visibility at all time high thanks to people sharing my work around Facebook and referring my services. Felt awesome to be known as THE go-to gal for VA services. Met some amazing ladies and felt honored they had chosen me to work with.

April – May 2014:
Shit gets real. And falls apart.

Realize that many of my so-called ideal clients aren’t ideal at all. Get frustrated with all of the back and forth between clients, projects, and emails. Understand that I chased the money instead of going after my zone of genius. Oh shit.

Got fired by two of my favorite clients in the same day. Ouch. Major ah-has through major painful moments.

Visibility tested in regards to boundaries. Clients would disappear then reappear with demands. Stand my ground. Be visible with my power in the situation. Stand up for myself, my vision, and what I deserve. Growing pains like a mutha.

Stayed visible in a community full of ex-clients that didn’t work out for various reasons. Wondering what they’re all saying behind my back. Feel shame for how some of it went down. Anger at others. Sadness with a couple. Deep breaths. Let it go. Stay out there and stand in my truth!

Began to get super clear on EXACTLY what I love, the women I can help the most, and what way of working kicks major ass for both me and my clients.

June 2014:
IMG_2383Did another photo shoot to upgrade the photos I had and speak more to who I am in my business now. Was more comfortable behind the camera, but still relied on my friend for help in just being me and relaxing into the spotlight. Felt totally at home in my fun pink shirt, black blazer, skinnies, and Toms wedges. Fun and profesh – totally me.

June – October 2014:
Commitment at all time high.

Divine download to do intensives. Zone of genius firmly accepted. Hired new coach. Never felt SO aligned before in my life.

Frustration still creeps in – I just want to help damnit! Recommit. Recommit. Then recommit again. Be still and know.

Finally claiming my talent and understanding why I’m on this earth. New level shit.

Oct 8, 2014:
Tattoo day arrives.

tattooGot a tattoo on my right wrist- up leveling my commitment to my visibility, playing a bigger game in this world, and embracing more of who I am. Even do my first video because hey, why the hell not (coaches have been telling me to do this for a year but I wasn’t feeling it) and I’m here to stay bitches.

MAJOR downloads and ah-has about this whole visibility thing. Start and evolve. Stretch. Recommit. Say fuck it. Know I have to share every nitty gritty detail in order to really drive this point. Only slightly nervous as this isn’t really about me – it’s about the purpose, the women who will get all of this on a deeper level, and the world we will change together.

Hot damn! This is really IT. I really have arrived…. and yet there will be SO much more.

________________

Wow friends. If you’re still with me at this point then a big thanks and high five. Because the whole point was so that you could see the journey and how it evolves over time. I truly, truly hope this has served this purpose for you.

To take it to the next level, I’m also putting together a Guide to Getting Visible. You’ll find it helpful every time you have those butterflies and as you continue to uplevel yourself in this area, whether you’re just getting started or Oprah has finally called you to join her on SuperSoul Sunday.

It will be added to The Doula Library next week, an entire resource library I’ve been dreaming of creating filled with my best stuff that touches on every area involved in birthing your ideas from your heart out into the world.

You can gain access to The Library by clicking here and you’ll receive an email when it’s ready.

And for now, I’m keeping a bit of privacy and not sharing all that this tattoo means to me. But I will say this – it’s very meaningful and reminds me of my core values.

Filled to the brim with gratitude,
Amy

Don’t forget to get early access to your Visibility Guide and The Doula Library here.