How to Make a Killer Morning Routine

How many struggle to wake up in the morning?  Believe me, I’ve had plenty of my own battles when wake up time comes around.  Though I am sure to wake up easier if I hop right out of bed when the alarm goes off, sometimes I get stuck snoozing because of a really good dream…

Let’s face it, waking up can be hard.

A few weeks ago I had to have a serious chat with myself about some changes to my routine. For any of you that know me well, you know I’m stubborn, so when I determined to change my mornings, I wasn’t going to let habit stand in my way. My night time routine consisted of me going to bed when I felt like it, never any setting any boundaries for my rest. This flexibility seemed nice in theory, but it turns out it was detrimental to my morning energy.

I also operated under the belief that I could determine how my day would go during those first waking moments.  Despite evidence to the contrary, I carried on this way for years, despite actually being too groggy in the morning to function at such a high level.

It wasn’t just that I needed time in the morning to not be rushed and go about what I needed to do.  I actually needed a set routine that had each step listed out so as I bumbled through, I wasn’t able to get off track or forget what’s next.  Things many people do, like shower, eat, get dressed, and things that are important to myself as an entrepreneur, like read, write, and exercise.

Early morning is such a great time for self care and development because it’s so peaceful, you can have true tranquility before the symphony of texts and emails tones your way. This is the best time to be present with yourself and see what you need from you, not what others may want from you.

How To Create A Killer Morning Routine

So let’s get you a killer morning routine.  Grab a writing implement, a piece of paper, and your thinking hat.

  1.  What NEEDS to happen every morning?  These may be simple things like shower, eat, get dressed.  Or maybe you have other items that you are determined to have happen every morning.  Write them down first.
  2. Next, what do you WANT to do in the morning?  For me things like yoga, meditation, reading, and writing fall under this category.  I truly intend to do all these things in the morning, but if I sleep late, they are the things that can be knocked off the list without consequences (you can show up to your first meeting without having done yoga but not without having gotten dressed!).
  3. What could help your mornings go better -or- what are some stretch goals?  Dancing got added to my list because it’s great exercise (especially for someone in the icy north) and it helps wake me up.  It’s a total stretch goal, something that doesn’t necessarily make my work better, but it helps bridge the gap between the need to move and the need to wake up.

Now let’s take a look at your list.  Just because something needs to happen in the morning doesn’t mean it has to happen first.  In fact, I found that I did better with the ‘need to do items’ if they were interspersed between other tasks.  Consider how the tasks will flow together.  For example, it doesn’t make sense for you to do something that might soil your clothes after you’ve gotten dressed.

Here’s a snippet of my morning routine so you can see how I thought about the steps.

First, I wake up (obviously) at my desired time.  I then brush my teeth and pee (yep, I was that detailed on my list) while the shower warms up.  Even though I exercise after showering, I have found that a shower helps wake me up so much that it’s important to just do it and not be too concerned.  After I shower I dance — I’m still a little groggy from the warm water but I’m more awake than before and dancing helps really get me up.  I do a minimum of three songs.  The first one usually sucks.  I’m just barely moving.  The last one has me bouncing around and I might even have 5lb weights in my hands.  It’s after the dancing that I do yoga.  My body is warmed up and, as a result, I’m more limber and able to mentally flow.  After yoga I meditate.  Yoga is designed to prepare the body to meditate, which is why it always goes after.

That’s the first hour of my morning routine.  My entire morning routine takes three hours, which I didn’t know before.  I thought I only needed two hours, but also would skip a lot of items.  Knowing I need three hours changed my wake up time from 6:45am to 5:58am (yep, I’m weird like that).  Knowing my wake time and my desired hours of sleep, I now know what time I need to be in bed.  And I stick to it.  Studies show that keeping a regular sleep cycle improves everything, including work. As entrepreneurs, our work quality is of the utmost importance.

Mornings set up your day, they create a solid foundation for you. This is about protecting your time, because it is precious. Experiment with routines and find what works for you. Setting up this select time for your self to set intentions, be alone, and take care of your body is a very healthy habit to master!

Check out my video on the matter:

How Stress is hurting your Business Relationships

An unfortunate trend I see in many new entrepreneurs, whether or not they’re aware of it, is they throw their stress at each other, their partners, and their friends.  What is throwing stress?  This term I developed to describe someone who uses their stress to push against other people and events in their lives on an energetic level.

That is, they reply to inquiry from a place of stress, exemplifying all the things that they have happening to them right now in this moment, and citing them as excuses as to why they haven’t replied, why they haven’t gotten the meeting done or scheduled, etc.

They are so embroiled in the experience of all the balls that they are juggling, that they will say, “I’ve done X, Y, and Z, and I have a, b, and c still on the docket. That’s why I haven’t responded yet.”

Almost always, those entrepreneurs who throw their stress will cite these excuses before an excuse is needed.  This is the difference between an entrepreneur who is in control of their experience and one who is not.  An entrepreneur in control would reply, “I got your message, and I will let you know soon.”

What do I mean by ‘in control’?  How can one ever be in control in business?

Just as in life, there are only so many things we can control in business.  Things like our task management, our lead generation, ideation stream, goal setting, project deadlines, and pricing.  By managing well the things within your control, those things out of your control will be far less stressful.

Good business management can even be the difference between an emergency being catastrophic or a minor stress.  In one scenario, the business suffers or even must go bankrupt due to the emergency, while the other has a ‘rainy day fund’ that handles the event seamlessly.

If you find yourself using your business as an excuse more often than not, it is time to reexamine how you are managing your daily life.

What do you need to be saying no to? Do you need a better task management system? A financial system like YNAB? Or better levels of organization? Or do you need to simply examine how you’re managing stress and integrate a meditation or yoga practice into your life?

Your friends and family love you.  Your colleagues trust you, and show it by working with you over and over again.  They don’t need any excuses.  They will still be by your side regardless if you are busy.  Telling them that you are busy before they ever ask for explanation or apologies is a symptom of too much stress stress and a lack of faith in others due to a likely lack of faith in yourself.

Take this tough-love moment to reexamine your work.  I know that you did not start a business to be this stressed out.  Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Ravenous Passion

How happy are you?

A simple, yet loaded, question that we fail to ask ourselves enough. More often than not our own pleasures in life are pushed to the back burner. There are important calls to answer and meetings to catch, right?

What if I told you that prioritizing your happiness will create more success in your career?

Not only does finding your joy in life help you build your empire, but it also betters every aspect of you!

This is why I love the concept of Joie De Vivre, or “joy of living” and participated in the original article on Buzzfeed last year.  It all centers around the power of finding your passion for life and letting the benefits trickle down into all that you do.

You might be wondering, ‘sounds great but where do I start?’

Right here!

On August 1st The Ravenous Living Summit will celebrate the International Day of Joy.  Myself, along with over 30 other incredible coaches, will give you our best techniques and freebies you need to start this journey to joy.

This is not to say that you don’t already feel that fiery passion. Those entrepreneurs in the process of building an empire often have a whole lot of that passion already (I’m lookin’ at all you Audacious Entrepreneurs). But there can be more where that came from, the thing about this journey to joy is that it doesn’t have a limit. Discovering your Joie de Vivre is a boundless exploration.

Beginning this search may leave you feeling a tad lost. Have no fear, the tips are here! Let’s jump into my 3 secrets to helping you find that Joie de Vivre.

Read lots of books all the time!

Read, read, read.  But I’m not talking about reading books in succession, one after another. I quite literally mean read many books, all at once. Think back to your school years.  You took multiple classes simultaneously. They were all different concepts, yet somehow they could fit together in a larger global lesson.

This is what reading various books will do. It allows you to learn new lessons that can dovetail to create a bigger picture. This layered knowledge creates a new lens for you to view the world as much more exciting and vibrant. Reading is an undeniable way to ignite an appreciation for life.

Share it all. 

Share money, resources, connections, advice, and friendship. Share your time with friends and family. Share your knowledge with a mentee or successor. Giving is when we feel most fulfilled and, in turn, creates strong, healthy relationships, and a stronger business. By sharing yourself with the world, it will return the favor. 

By supporting each other, we grow together. Building a strong community promotes a healthy secure life and a generous ecosystem in which your business can thrive. This strong community can then support you, your work, health, and joy. A solid support system, whether it be large or small, is the environment we all deserve and crave.

Remember giving is a never-ending cycle of more giving!

Adventure! 

Whether trying a new coffee shop in your town or backpacking through Europe, adventure can be part of any life. When we explore, we learn. Being exposed first hand to new cultures, people, and languages, expands your sense of the world around you. 

When we leave our usual surroundings, the walls of comfort and familiarity come down. We are not longer being impacted by the expectations of our routine, and the pressures previously enforced may disappear or adapt in new forms. This allows us to understand who we really are and what parts of us are actually just baggage.

Once we step out of our comfort zone we can freely flex our muscles and see our societies in a newfound light. When you understand the parts of you that are not tied to someone or something, you begin to understand what really brings authentic joy by being more authentically you.

Find your Space 

I’ll admit, I have not always had it together. I created a tech company that I thought would make me more free, yet I didn’t know how to manage my time and life to enjoy what I’d created. We all find ourselves stuck from time to time, but by making even the smallest efforts to live passionately and ravenously, you will find joy.

Overall, give yourself the proper space to authentically be you!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for August 1st and sign up for The Ravenous Living Online Summit, you will not want to miss!

Sign up here and find out my bonus tip! 🙂

Why Your Small Tasks Are So Big

Entrepreneurship is about running a business (or businesses), but what does that look like?  More importantly, what does a successful entrepreneur look like? Many may jump to imagining a bustling New York City business person or a traveling CEO changing lives around the world. We see jets, beaches, cars, black tie events. We see the excitement and the perks of building your empire.

While entrepreneurship can take this form, know that this is not usually the reality, especially in the beginning. For a new entrepreneur, these assumptions about what their lives and workday should look like is very detrimental, especially for future generations, and lead quickly to burnout.

Slow & Steady

Now don’t get me wrong, having aspirations of success is not a bad thing at all and is highly encouraged. However, when you have a warped perception of what being your own boss truly entails, you then have a warped perception of what your own path to success should look like.

How do you change this?

Focus on the small!

By taking the time to break down your ultimate goals in to smaller steps, you halt the overwhelm and can focus on what feels more manageable. This may seem like a no-brainer — we have all been told to take it one step at a time at one time or another.  But most don’t actually put into practice an awareness of how each day is helping you in the bigger picture.

Of course, we like to emphasize the endgame.  That’s where we all want to fast forward to! But patience young grasshopper; everything good takes time.

Dance To Your Own Drum

So now you are still left wondering “what should this day-to-day work consist of?”

Sadly I don’t have an answer for you, because there is no right answer.

When you take on the responsibility of being your own boss, you have unlimited freedom and no one to tell you what to do (which is why many of us became entrepreneurs). It may seem a little scary to have all that power, so naturally we look to others. Ultimately, it’s about finding a system that works for you. Plenty of entrepreneurs will tell you their foolproof “secret to success”, and while exploring those productivity tips can be super helpful, no one can truly tell you what will work best for you.

Not to mention, relying on others to tell you how or where you should be can result in comparisonitis and self-doubt. There is no “right time” in your business journey.  We all have our own unique tactics, skill sets, paces, and experiences. Don’t let others tell you you’re behind.  You’re right where you need to be.

Embrace the Big and Small

Bottom line, entrepreneurship isn’t always sexy, and the sooner you realize and embrace the mundane will you be able to really evolve. Every business experiences minutia like waiting on hold, sending emails, and making reservations. This will never go away, so let’s embrace it!

See how I tackle my day and “dance to my own drum” below! 🙂

You don’t work for Henry Ford

“Can I start work at 1pm?” a client asked me recently.  Entrepreneurs are blessed with the flexibility to choose our own schedule.  Work 10 hours one day and then take the next day off.  No one is watching.  Who cares?  As long as we meet the needs of our clients and customers, there is nothing holding us back.

Or is there?

The 9-5 Monday through Friday schedule was designed in 1914 by Henry Ford.  He discovered that an eight hour work day, which had been a concept for years but never guaranteed by any employer, was the optimal work period.  He saw production go up, and the weekend time off mentally and emotionally benefitting his workers.

Study after study has shown that at least one day off a week is necessary for mental health.  Even zoo animals need time away from their visitors in order to stay healthy.  In this video I describe just how you can harness your freedom by making your own work schedule.

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Self Care Through Scaling™

I talk a lot about my trademark program, Self Care Through Scaling™.  It’s something I learned the hard way, and I coach my clients so they can get there faster.  In my latest YouTube video, I explain what Self Care Through Scaling™ is, and how I burnt out (and then learned) to do it for my own business.

How to be a Badass Business Woman with Depression

Many women who deal with mental health conditions like Depression or Anxiety find it necessary to leave their jobs in exchange for the control of Entrepreneurship.  It is extremely difficult to work a strict schedule and in specified circumstances when mental health is a factor.  I, myself, have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and PMDD (pre-menstrual depressive disorder), and would likely find it impossible to productively work for an employer ever again.  With my own business, I can allow myself my Down Days without self loathing, and then make up for them when I am feeling better.

I’ve built a lot of systems for working around my own mental health.  I even teach a workshop called Self Care for Entrepreneurs.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

The Rule Of Three

When I’m down, it’s like pulling teeth to work any sort of productivity out of myself.  But the world is still turning, and clients or customers may need things from you.  I find that reducing my own expectations of myself to baby steps helps me still get something done.

This is what I call The Rule Of Three.  If I wake up bumming, I coax myself into choosing three things to accomplish that day.  Just three goals.  They could be as simple as order business cards, apply to a speaking event, and follow up with a client.  Often I find that I’ll end up doing more than three, simply because there were adjacent tasks at hand.  But if not, I still accomplished my goal of three items and that can feel like moving a mountain on Down Days.

The 24 Hour Rule

I love this rule.  I teach it to everyone I can.  The 24 Hour Rule is releasing yourself from responding to any messages (email, instant message, or phone calls) for twenty-four hours.  This is a good rule for simply staying sane at work.  It helps ensure a level-headed response when heated messages come your way.  It also relieves me of the impulse to clear my inbox throughout the day instead of check emails only twice — morning and afternoon.

When down, keeping up with messages can be exhausting.  Since I always practice The 24 Hour Rule, I already feel comfortable ignoring much of what comes through during the day.

The only messages I do respond to are emails marked Urgent from clients or employees.  Usually my team can handle it, but they may still need guidance.  I offer what I can so the issue doesn’t get hung up on me, and then release myself from the task of completely clearing the rest of my inbox.

Self Care

What self care have you done today?  Any?  It’s so easy to do a self care routine when we’re not down, but when the feels hit, things get really hard.  The last time I was down I thought to myself, “I haven’t even showered…  but did I even try?”  I was beating myself up for not even having had taken a shower, but I also hadn’t tried!  This is the way the depressed mind works.

I write down my morning routine so I can’t ignore it.  It gives me something to point to and say, “Ok, this is what I try to do every day — so let’s try.”  I coax myself into doing yoga, even if all I actually do is child’s pose; to take a shower, even if it doesn’t happen until mid-afternoon; and make myself some tea.

I also try to listen.  I texted a friend one time and simply said I was in a funk.  He replied, “Have you tried meditating?”  Well, no, ’cause I’m depressed and the couch is my best friend.  But he’s right.  Meditation is part of my self care routine and I totally skipped it.  So I got upright (but still on the couch) and meditated.  The Universe will try to talk to you through others to coax you back to good, but you have to listen.

Who’s In Your Corner?

It’s taken me years to build a compassionate and safe friend group, and another few years to allow myself to feel vulnerable enough to reach out to them when I’m down.  Yet, as you saw above, they are so helpful!

Even if you’re not ready to post to Facebook requesting backup, try texting your best friend, partner, or someone else you trust.  As you read, the response may be simple, but it also might be the thing the Universe is trying to tell you.

Recently I simply posted “No energy — bring food.”  Guess what?  Three separate friends stopped by with food!  Again, my friends are very understanding, many of them also having experienced mental health conditions, so I felt safe doing this.  Even though I know my friends are compassionate, I was floored by their generosity.  Another prime example of how silly depressed brains can be (because of course I would do the same when I feel good!!!).

What Do You Love?

I know that when I’m really down, I want to read.  I also read to wind down for the day, and to help me fall asleep at night.  Reading is as important to me as breathing — which is why my bookshelves are overflowing and I have a Little Free Library in my front yard so I can cycle books faster.

When I’m down but I want to get something done, I read one of the business books that is waiting for me.  That way I’m still educating myself about growing my business and good business practices for my clients, but I’m doing something that is comforting to my brain.  These books are on my ‘to do’ list anyway, so I actually am accomplishing something for my business, just not quite what I had meant to that day.

Start with this brain dump:  What do you love to do, and how can you integrate it into your business day today?  Maybe being outside helps your depressed brain.  Can you work on your business outside?  Bring your laptop out, or a book, or your mind map?  Could you write the next chapter of your book outside?  Maybe going for a walk helps you.  Steve Jobs would go for walks to come up with new ideas for Apple.  Can you bring a notepad and jot notes as you walk?  What else makes you feel good?  Get creative about integrating it into your work day.

Above all, forgive yourself.  Forgive your brain.  It is doing the best it can, and you will feel better, soon.

Why I Always Change Into Yoga Pants After Work

I admit it.  Sometimes I wear yoga pants to work, too.

Yes, I practice yoga.  But not at the end of the day after I’ve been working.  I do yoga in the morning to wake my body and prepare for a busy day of doing what I love.  It level sets me so I can be mentally present for my clients and serve them as best I can.

When you’re doing what you love, it can be hard to stop at the end of the day.  But you must!  Otherwise what you love will soon be what you hate.  You’ll find yourself mentally exhausted, antsy, and displaying avoidance behavior, even though you love your work.

Yoga pants are a symbol for me.  In donning them, my mind automatically switches into ‘lounge mode’.  I no longer feel like I need to be on point and focused.  I can go for a walk in comfort, garden, cook, sit in funny positions, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  My yoga pants create the mental space to just be me.

I’m not suggesting you do the same if it doesn’t fit your personality — although, I do suggest you find a similar practice.  How might you punctuate the end of your busy day so you can wind down and relax?  In the past I’ve used evening showers, going for a walk, or meditation to cool my jets and tell my mind it’s time to stop working.

This does have a caveat.  You see, when you love what you do, you’re likely to be inspired by just about anything in your life.  Though your evenings and weekends should be ‘non-work time’, it’s important to leave space for that inspiration.  However, there’s a difference in reacting to that inspiration.  During work hours it’s appropriate to follow the rabbit hole to see where it leads.  But when you’re at home, whether alone, with your partner, children, or friends, it’s important to stay present.

Create a system for capturing the inspiration and ideas that come your way.  Write them down, put them in Evernote or another app, or leave yourself a voice memo.  Whatever you need to do to have the peace of mind that the idea is secure.  Then, return to your evening.

What do you do to transition out of work-mode at the end of a long day? Tell us below!

Can The Wrong Relationship Hinder The Growth of You and Your Business?

Relationships can be a source of joy.  They can create a rock solid foundation from which you can launch every day, offering you the freedom and confidence to start a business or to push through to the next stage of growth.

So what happens if a relationship doesn’t support your passion-based work?

I got out of such a relationship some time ago.  I couldn’t explain it, then, but I felt like I was ready for inner growth and business evolution that, for some reason, wasn’t happening while I was with my partner.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried — I had.  I remember being sad and confused because I couldn’t seem to evolve the way I wanted to when I was with my partner.  I was exploring new options, launching new ideas, and getting to know other entrepreneurs who were ahead of me and could show me the way.  I had all the tools — but it wasn’t happening.  And the longer I was stuck pushing on the same invisible glass ceiling, the worse I felt.

Here are some of the things I was experiencing:

  • Jealousy of my ability to manage my own schedule (and misconstruing it as laissez-faire freedom)
  • Fear of the space I requested to grow and evolve
  • Imbalance of power due to our careers
  • Misunderstanding the natural ebb and flow of funds for an entrepreneur
  • Lack of connection on the passion-based work I am driven to do

How to Start A Business While in A Relationship

Hold the phone.  I’m not saying you can’t be in a relationship and be an entrepreneur!  Starting a business while in a relationship can be tricky, but with the right communication, it can be an amazing experience for you both.  Here are my tips and best practices for this process.

Start With The Passion

There is a reason you want to start a business — and I’m pretty sure it’s not just to make money.  You’ve got an idea, a passion, and some savvy, and you’re itching for an adventure.  I know you’ve been thinking about this for a while, and you partner has probably noticed a glimmer of the idea, too.  When you speak about your passion, you will shine.  Tell your partner as much as you can about your idea — why this idea, why this passion, why this business.  Just thinking about it probably makes you excited to get up in the morning, and they will see that.

Explain Why You’re Not Trying To Get A Job

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of people.  Getting a job in the field of your passion isn’t enough.  There’s something more — a vision of the future that only we can see.  For some, this is a hard concept to grasp (it was hard for my former partner).  I can’t tell you what to say, because everyone is different, but for me I wanted to be able to control the vision so that it doesn’t get muddied over the years by other agendas.  I also have seen what happens at tech companies to women, and I didn’t want to experience that, anymore.  You have your own reasons, but also remember who you’re speaking to, and what words they will respond best to.

Show Your Cards

If your partner is anything like mine, they’ll want to know you have some kind of next steps or direction.  This isn’t because they want you to prove you can do it — if they know you well, they know you can — it’s that they are worried about you.  By demonstrating your next steps, you show that you’ve truly thought this through.  Even better, describe any steps you’ve taken already, even if it took place on Google.  The more specific you can be, the better.

What Do You Expect Of Them?

Setting expectations early on can be difficult if you’re starting something new, but it’s important to try.  Your partner will be better able to support you if they know how you want to be supported.  Some partners may jump to the conclusion that you’re asking for a business partner — which is probably not the case.  Start by making that clear, and then tell them how they can help.  Some of my clients appreciate a homemade meal waiting for them after a long day of meetings and calls, while others just need a quite house during the day.  One of my clients is lucky enough to have a partner who loves building systems, and while they are not officially part of the business, they join in business building activities.

Make sure you listen, too.  Your partner will tell you if they have the gumption to join you in your journey, or truly want to remain a cheerleader.  This part of the conversation will likely take some negotiation, so be open to that.  Asking too much (or too little) can lead to burn out for you both.

Set Boundaries, Baby!

If you haven’t heard of the work / life balance, yet, it’s time you do.  Not only is it important for you to not work yourself to the bone early on, it’s also important that you don’t suck your partner in unwittingly.  If your partner is not going to have any involvement in the business (not even giving you ideas about your business) then learn to leave them out of it.  This means your partner is a part of the “life” portion of the work / life balance.  Some of my past partners are helpers, just like myself, and any mention of stress or difficulty made them want to jump in and solve the problem.  Keeping this balance means that you can vent, you can complain, but you also don’t allow them to jump in to help without a deeper conversation about what it means and why it’s ok in this instance.

How has it gone with your partner or spouse?  Share below to support others!  Yours in passion,

The B-Word Might Mean You’re Right

One of my favorite television characters is Dr. Lisa Cuddy from the show House.  She is strong, independent, smart, and willing to take on anything (including Dr. House).  She gets into arguments I never would have the guts to, and seems to proceed confidently despite the regular antics in the show.  Though I know she is technically fictional, I look up to her.

My favorite episode is called “5 to 9”, and it follows Dr. Cuddy exclusively for the entire day / show.  The episode wasn’t just a great behind-the-scenes — it really showed what it’s like to deal with complicated situations.  The Dr. Cuddy that I thought was invincible actually cries in the stairwell after a confrontation.  Woah!

One of the most notable features of the episode is the B-Word.  It gets thrown at her at least five times throughout the episode, and but not because she is doing anything wrong.  It wasn’t even because the word slinger was pissed about not getting their way.  In fact, it was almost always because she was doing something right.

If You’re Nasty

Our political climate has absolutely cast a new light on what it means to run for office.  Personally, it’s left me scratching my head as to our vetting process, but that’s a different conversation.  I know no one will argue with me if I say that there have been some memorable sound bytes this time around, the latest of which seems to back up my theory about the B-Word.

During the final Presidential Debate, Trump interrupts Hillary’s answer regarding taxes to call her a Nasty Woman.  Literally, he leans forward after shaking his head and utters, “Such a nasty woman.”  It seems so out of left field it’s hard to believe it happened.  Hillary’s reaction was admirable — she had none.  She kept right on with her answer rather than feed the negativity.

More and more it seems that being called names (ie. the B-Word) in your work means you’re probably doing something right.

The B-Word is A Hot Button for Most Women

It’s really hard for a woman to be called a b****.  The word typically drums up sexist connotations, especially when it comes from a man.  I know that if I’m called any name, I want to curl up and die.  What usually happens is a tin of ice cream is eaten under a blanket while I wonder where I went wrong…

Most of us aren’t equipped to handle such slander.  Even when it’s constructive criticism, it can be hard to hear.  The extent of our training typically comes from high school mean girls.  I’m a pleaser, so I didn’t even get that training.  I just avoided the ‘nastiness’ altogether.

Piss ‘Em Off

Let’s pause to remember the age old phrase “If you’re not pissing people off, you’re probably not doing anything at all.”  We live in such a diverse world that it’s likely even your smile will make someone mad.  Actually, it probably has — cynics like to read into that stuff.

Going into business for yourself means you’ll be touching lives and becoming a slightly more public figure.  You’ll be networking for your business, marketing it, managing employees, and maybe even writing about your life like I do.  Someone is going to get pissed off, hate it, think it’s stupid, or just plain tell you you’re wrong.

Let’s take my friend as an example.  Sherri is awesome.  She went into business to help make people feel better about themselves through coaching and healing.  Her work literally changes lives for the better.

Sherri is also a mom, and she lives in a conservative part of America.  There is no doubt in my mind that she is doing the right thing, but she is regularly told that she’s a “terrible mother” for spending time on her business.  To which my jaw drops because she would stand in front of a bus for her kids.

All this to say I know it’s really hard to hear something negative from someone, especially when it’s about your life’s work, but you have no idea through what lens they see you.  More often than not, they’re not talking to you — they’re talking to some preconceived notion or are upset they’re not getting their way.

So next time you get called the B-Word (or a Nasty Woman), pause before getting out the ice cream.  You may be in the middle of achieving something great.