Living your life

You Are Not Your Results

I like to think I was a control freak, but I guess I still am. Back in the old day I was a micromanager, taking responsibility for every aspect of a project even if it wasn’t mine. I would stay awake at night worrying about outcome. I would plan and scheme what else I could do to make the project work. Fortunately, for the most part, I have released much of those tendencies. My next challenge is releasing my focus on outcome for things that define success for me.

Living your lifeMany a sage says to release the outcome. It is about the journey not the destination. And I totally get the concept. I have even experienced the peace of releasing myself from the results. It is pretty easy to do for something like, for instance, finding the right parking space or arriving to an appointment on time. It is even possible for me to release the focus on outcome when it comes to mine own and the health of others. I trust that the right thing will happen and at the right time. I know, really zen of me, huh? But when it comes to the results of my business, it is more difficult to get to that zen place.

Take for instance the crowdfunding campaign for my book, Moving From Type A to Type Me: Stop “Doing” Your Life and Start Living It. In my heart of heart I trusted that things would work out for the best, but when the results didn’t happen immediately my conscious trust began to falter. In doing so, I also overlooked the amazing support I received from friends, family, clients, and strangers. Instead I focused on the bottom line numbers which didn’t not match my expectation. Then I went into the spiral of self-doubt thinking that maybe this book and my purpose to help others isn’t really my purpose. The problem, as usual, lay in my beliefs.

As I started exploring why it is difficult to remain open and trusting with this campaign and other projects around my business, I wanted to write the noble statement that it was because helping others is so important to me, which it is true. But the real reason projects around my business are so emotional for me is that after all my personal work, and there has been a ton, I still equate professional success with my self-worth. Guess it is the final hold out from my old Type A days and something that I wholeheartedly release now. In doing so I found that my campaign was successful beyond my expectations because of the encouragement and support I received from friends, family, clients, and strangers. Through promotional classes I saw how what I teach can have immediate effects. I received validation for the gift I have to share.

Where in your life are you focused on success, outcome, or completion? Look past what it is you want to accomplish and search for what achieving or not achieving it means to you. Then release the meaning and look around you for all the good that is happening for you which is not related to your expected outcome. Sometimes we miss what we need most because we are focused on what we think we want. 

From the Ashes – Rebuilding You with Regina Essel

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring For those who know me, they know my story of a physically illness being the catalyst to my path to personal and professional growth. Hitting my low point allowed me to take action and to make the changes in my life that were needed. It was difficult and I don’t wish it on anyone, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without going through what I did. There are so many of us out there; exhausted, dissatisfied, doing for others and not taking care of ourselves. We push ourselves through the day making something or someone more important than our wellbeing – until our bodies tell us they have had enough. Or perhaps we hit a certain age that makes us reflect where we have been and where we are headed – and we are disappointed. Dreams we had have disappeared. Results we had hoped for did not materialize. We feel stuck.

Regina Essel
Regina Essel

But there is hope. From the ashes the true happy, joyful, peaceful, successful us can arise. I am joined by Regina Essel who too has felt physically ill, emotionally drained, and feeling as if her best days were past – that the future was all downhill. And here how she turned it around. Learn how she not only regained her physical and emotional health, but used it to propel her to help other women to empower their personal and professional lives. Regina believes that women can and should have it all – and on their own terms.

Who the Hell Am I to Start a Business? Tara Truax

I love the title of this new book by Tara Truax because so many aspiring entrepreneurs have probably felt that way one time or another.

Who the Hell Am I to Start a Business could refer to the fear first time entrepreneurs feel.  Perhaps someone has a great idea but is not sure they can make it a reality.  Someone else may be ready to branch off on their own but is terrified to take the first step.  There is a lot of fear attached to starting a new business.  There are the personal doubts of our own abilities.  There is the fear of losing that regular paycheck and relying on our own abilities and the gifts of the marketplace to provide us with income.  There is fear of the unknown. The phrase “who the hell am I to start a business” comes up again as the entrepreneur gets underway and realizes how much there is to be done and how much knowledge they may be missing in certain areas.  Very few businesses start out with a full professional staff.  Most times the entrepreneur is left wearing the hat of sales, marketing, product development, customer service, accounting, legal, human resources, and every other role necessary to keep the company alive.  This is when the phrase changes in meaning to, “what was I thinking?”

Tara Truax
Tara Truax

Yet there are entrepreneurs starting new businesses every day.  Whether the business is bringing a new product to life, sharing one’s expertise through providing a service, or becoming a franchisee each and every day, there are individuals ready to say, “Yes, I am ready to start a business.”  It is exhilarating and terrifying.  It is freeing and overwhelming.  It is rewarding and exhausting.  And for many there is no other option.  Starting that new business is what their heart and soul is driving them toward. I am proud to call myself a serial entrepreneur.  It is not for everyone, but for those who catch the bug, there is no other way.  Listen below to explore starting your own business with author and business coach Tara Truax. If you have been thinking of starting a business or have just put your toe in the water, this will be a wonderful way to learn the ins and outs of owning your own business.


Listen to the show:

Village of Arlington Heights

Building Communities – Arlington Heights Mayor

When I started my small business the first thing I did was join the local chamber.  It was a great way for me to meet other business owners, learn about the city, connect to residents, and create a relationship with the city government.  Being part of the chamber not only helped launch my business, but more importantly it made me part of the local community.

Village of Arlington HeightsThere are many different aspects of a good community.  There are the local residents who by living there benefit from public services and that unique culture.  There are businesses which provide goods, services, and employment.  There are government agencies who manage the safety and security of the community.  And there are local non-profit agencies providing valuable services for those who would not be able to receive them otherwise.  There is a very important symbiotic relationship between small businesses and the residents of that city.

My local community of Arlington Heights Illinois is very important to me as I both live and work here.  It is interesting to be not only invested in the local schools, park districts, and streets of the Village as a resident, but also to be active in the issues and policies affecting local businesses.  A thriving business community supports the local residents, and a healthy population is important to the economic viability of every small business.

Village of Arlington Heights President Tom Hayes
Village of Arlington Heights President Tom Hayes

As a resident of the Village of Arlington Heights, I was excited to have our Village President as a guest on The Empowerment show.  Tom Hayes was recently elected Village President after outgoing President Arlene Mulder held that post for 20 years.  Tom talked about his belief in leadership by example.  Tom believes that “building consensus and encouraging involvement of Board members, residents and business owners throughout our community is the best way to advance the quality of life in Arlington Heights.”  Whether you are a resident of Arlington Heights or not, listen below for a lively discussion about building communities, supporting small businesses, and providing positive quality of life for residents of a small town.  Learn how your actions as a business or resident can affect your local quality of life. 

It's My Life Inc.

Constant Business

Happy National Small Business Week!  Since 1963, the President of the United States uses this week to recognize the economic contributions of small businesses.  One in two Americans either own or work for a small business, and these businesses are responsible for 60-80% of the new jobs in the country.

But owning a small businesses isn’t easy.  There are pressures from being solely responsible for the success of the business and maneuvering the tenuous work-life balance.  As a small business owner you are the product manager, marketer, sales team, finance department, production manager, customer service, and CEO.  With all this responsibility and workload, some might think that working for someone else might be easier.  But the small business owner has a dream, a vision, a passion, and a purpose.  She has the desire to make the world a better place through a unique product or service while creating the home-life she desires for her and her family.

There are many ups and downs in business ownership.  To ride these waves remember to be constantly evolving and constantly joyful.


image by barunpatro

Constant Evolution

I would love to share with you the one stop shop, ultimate solution for your business success, unfortunately it does not exist.  The best I can offer is a system to keep your business growing through constant evolution.

Business planning is the foundation for your success.  However, business planning should be viewed as an ever-evolving moving target not a document to create once and store on one’s shelf like a prized trophy.  The marketplace is constantly changing.  There are new competitors, new technology, new user needs.  What you once offered may no longer be viable in its current configuration.  Think of the heyday of Blockbuster video and what happened once technology introduced On Demand and convenience introduced Netflix and Red Box.   It is important to roll with the ever changing flow of commerce or you will be left behind.

One way to stay ahead of the curve is to have quarterly or bi-annual plan reviews.  This way you can be sure to stay abreast of the changing marketing place so you can act accordingly.  The second way is to constantly review the programs you have put in place.  Be sure that you are monitoring the results of your sales, marketing, and product/service plans.  What worked yesterday, may not be working today.  Adapting to the ever-changing marketplace is a key to success.

Constant Joy

To help you during the low times of your business, remember your joy.  Remember that you went into business for yourself to have the freedom and joy in your life that you desire.  When work is no longer fun, ask yourself why not?  What has changed to make the business challenging?  What are you making more difficult than you have to?  When situations get you down, step back and remember why you started.  Then shift your mindset or your objectives so that fun enters back into the picture.

This week celebrate National Small Business Week by looking back at all you have accomplished and reset your eyes on your goals for tomorrow.