As promised, sharing 3 more of my fave books with you. I have been diving into personal development books since the age of 13. I’ve always been fascinated by human behaviour - both mine and that of others - and I found myself in the ‘weirdo’ section of the bookstore at a very young age.
Switching things up this week with a rundown of 3 of my fave personal development books of all time. Yes, of all time. And I read a LOT (I also devour audio books via the Overdrive app and Toronto Public Library).
All of these books have had a major positive impact on how I think, feel, and operate. I have grown tremendously because of them and refer to their content frequently.
I will do additional posts like this moving forward as one of the questions I get most often is ‘What are you reading right now?’ or, ‘What are the books that really helped you work through stuff?’
Got your own business?
Then networking and getting out there is a non-negotiable part of your agenda. Knowing this, a few years ago I set out to a women’s entrepreneur event – super casual at a pub in midtown Toronto. I was all excited to get inspired. “I’m gonna put myself out there and it’s gonna be awesome!” I told myself. I didn’t know anybody in the group, just the one woman who invited me. I figured sometimes that is when you actually have the best time at an event - no expectations, no preconceived notions, just a willingness to connect with others.
It has been about 9 months since I last wrote a blog post. I kinda fell off the map. I pushed me coaching business aside and here is why.
In April of 2018 I accepted a freelance Art Director gig which involved a heavy commute and long hours. From the get go, I knew it would be insane. I was warned by people who knew the inside scoop. I also had that gut feeling that yup, this is gonna be a gong show.
Some years I tend to be a HUGE reader, and some years I tend to only get through a handful of books. This year, I am on an official reading binge. I cannot seem to get enough words into me - via reading actual books and also by listening to audiobooks. And whoa, have I have stumbled across some good ones.
One of the best in my 2018 pile is Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski. It was excellent. LOVED it. Not only does she share her own harrowing story of moving up the ranks in the television business, but she covers the stories of other business mavens such as Sheryl Sandberg and Susie Orman. This book does not serve up fluffy, happy-go-lucky, just ‘put-your-mind-to-it’ stories. No, this book goes into the nitty gritty of negotiation, career strategy and rising up to your potential even when everyone else is trying desperately to bring you down. It is meaty goodness served up with a side of brass tactics.
Full disclaimer - I am not a financial guru.
But I do consider myself a mindset maven.
I believe your thoughts become your feelings, which create your reality.
I believe what you you think about all the time shows up in your life. Especially when you add an emotional charge to it.
A few weeks ago I wrote the story of The Chicken Sticker where I shared a funny story about getting over the fear of charging potentially 'too much' for your services. I hope it inspires you to let that self-sabotaging story go because, as the story explains, someone, somewhere paid thousands of dollars for me to design a stupid sticker for $1 off a pack of chicken.
Another important self-sabotaging story to let go of is, "I don't know enough".
I know we are a month in already, but I'm just not the kinda person that goes all cray-cray excited at the beginning of the New Year. I like to ease into the year and see what goals feel right, and think about what I really want to focus on. I’m slowlying crystallizing my vision for the year and let me tell you, it will be #highvibe!!
With that in mind, today I thought I would share with you a short and kinda funny story about charging clients for our services. Funny stories raise your vibe instantly!
ust a few more days of 2017 left!
As we prepare for the New Year, I found myself gravitating to this quote from the Suitcase Entrepreneur. I keep a notebook with scribbles and quotes in it, and about every week - usually on a Sunday eve - I go through it to see what resonates. As someone who has really thought a lot about the word 'failure', I have decided that this is the best definition.
We only fail if we don't take at least one step.
As we come to the end of 2017, many of us are planning our 2018 and wondering how we can make it an awesome year.
While I do not obsess over New Year's resolutions, I do indeed set goals at the beginning of each year. I write down a list of realistic but challenging, attainable goals.
And this year, while it had some serious challenges (our rescue dog endured a health crisis that rocked me and my husband to the core, and my mom is now officially with a form of dementia), I am definitely TEAM 2017.
When I began this blog about a year ago, I made the very deliberate decision to disable comments on the posts. I had listened to a podcast interview with Danielle Laporte - a formidable, warm tiger of a leader - and she boldly spoke about refusing others to comment on her blog because it was getting too intense. I am not sure if she still disables comments, but I remember hearing that and alarm bells went off in my head and thoughts like "OH M G I better also disable comments because I do NOT need that negativity in my life". Shutting them down.
Last week, On Tuesday, October 24th, I did an FB live with the title Why I Believe Fortune Favours the Brave. It was intended to let people know exactly why that saying is so important to me, and why it is the inspiration for my business.
Well, about five minutes after the video was posted, I wanted to take it down. I was overcome with complete certainty that a) it sucked and b) I didn’t really say anything of value and c) what was the point of doing any of this? I mean, no one was even watching it live! And top it off, I had what Brené Brown calls a ‘vulnerability hangover’ - though I am not sure why as I really didn’t reveal that much about myself, contrary to my original intention of the video.
We hear many sayings or idioms over and over again, but ever had one of those moments when you hear one for the millionth time and they suddenly, you just get it? Like the words sink it to your pores and it resonates to your core?
That has happened to me twice in recent memory. In both cases, it almost felt like a cartoon lightning bolt striking my head, or the bop to the head like in those old V8 commercials.
Today I’m going to write about the time my friend Annie was trying to help me navigate a family situation I was wrapped up in. I was waist-deep in a scenario full of drama, stress and tough decisions.
Nope, I am not talking about getting stuck into the Hunger Games trilogy for the second time (hey, I totally support that!). I am talking about those fun but oh-so-destructive stories we tell ourselves - and others - that keep us low and stuck.
A story can be something you think or say over and over such as:
I will just never be good at sales. It has been that way since I can remember. My aunt used to make me work in the stock room because I was always so terrible at closing the deal. I actually liked it there better in the back of the store anyway. It was so cozy and safe, and who wants to deal with people all day anyway??
This is somewhat of a follow-up to my FB live "My thoughts on Toastmasters" (September 21).
We are back to regularly scheduled programming! Because I was competing in a Toastmasters Humourous Speech contest, I had to skip a week of blogging. It was an intense ten days of writing and rehearsing and practicing. It was also a lot of me freaking out with thoughts like, "Oh fuck. How the heck am I going to get through this? I think I need to barf. Why am I doing this? UGG. I need wine. No, I need some chocolate. No, just everyone leave me alone, ok?!!" Good thing I have a VERY patient husband.
I was super nervous, unable to efficiently focus on work, and I felt super ungrounded. I also had a doozy of a headache for two days before the competition. I think my brain was literally fed up with my speech - it had heard it on a continuous loop for too long! It no longer thought it was funny. Lol.
This past Sunday I got schooled in some business basics.
One of my ongoing freelance gigs is quite unusual - I design and create presentation boards for an Interior Designer, Annie, who designs for upscale retirement homes. The process looks like this: after Annie has selected all of the fabrics and materials she wants to use in a home (which can be dozens), I help her pitch the look and feel to the client by creating large boards that tell a visual story of the new home. I spend hours cutting fabric with pinking shears, gluing wallpaper samples, adding pieces of wood or laminate, layering them together, adding custom-designed labels, and mulling over how the materials should flow together so it is completely clear how everything will fit together visually. I have been designing these boards for over 20 years after my teenage boyfriend suggested his mom - Annie - hire me for one of her projects. Decades later, we still work together, and rather seamlessly, too.
Are you giving yourself gold stars?
I hope you have. I have definitely not.
What I mean is, I have not been acknowledging my small (sometimes teeny tiny) accomplishments and successes as I embark on launching a new coaching business.
For my entire life, I have been extremely uncomfortable with praise or celebrating 'wins'. If I get an award or simply positive feedback, I get very embarrassed and my mind immediately jumps to, "I'd rather not hear this because I don't really believe it." I want to go all 'ear muffs' from Wedding Crashers.
Some people like to clean when they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Others reorganize their sock drawer. I purge. I start tossing stuff out, left, right and centre.
Recently, with the relaunch of my business and coaching, a freelance design project, a corporate contract, and trying to facilitate moving my mom into a retirement home, things have felt really hectic, stressful and just "too much". In addition, for the last seven years, I have been working my way through my dad's estate which includes about ten galleries worth of artwork (he was an artists as well as a contractor), and a sea of other treasures not even yet accounted for. While it is a labour of love, it has been draining at times.
It was time to make things lighter.
feel like I have been saying this for-ev-ah, but my new ebook, Million Dollar Brands: 6 Secrets to Building Your Empire, is almost here. July 31st is the official launch date!
This ebook began last fall when I knew entrepreneurs needed a clear, easy-to-understand guide to branding. I wanted to create my own version of a Branding 101 book, distilled down to a quick but super valuable read. I know it will help so many biz owners power up their branding game. So why the delay??
It has been a while... I'm excited to connect with you all again.
2017 started off with a bang, but not the good kind. More on that another time, but I can say with relief and joy that my doggie Dolly is healing (yes, miracles do happen) and I'm getting back on track with my business. I kinda got hit with a tornado, but I'm alive and well and things are GOOD.
My big announcement I want to share is that…