What's the use of running if you are not on the right road?German Proverb

Welcome! I’m Lea (pronounced Lee-UH and not Lee). I'm a strategist, a recovering perfectionist, a chronic over-thinker and a multi-passionate entrepreneur (read: I can't stick to just one thing). I'm location independent – though have a base in the UK these days – and home educate my 2 kids. This is where I share my thoughts and the thought-provoking & game-changing resources I come across...

What Does It Take To Pull The Trigger?

Have you ever thought about what specifically triggers you to decide to do something? Especially if it’s something you’ve been considering for a while but have not yet taken the plunge…

This is something I talk about with clients a lot, especially when it comes to selling their stuff and, even more specifically, closing a sale.

People struggle with the fact that they appear to have interest in the stuff they share – lots of likes on Facebook, maybe some comments and shares, and people appearing keen – but when it comes to pulling the trigger and buying…nothing! That interest converts to no sales and they’re left wondering what they did wrong.

To understand this, I think it’s important to understand the following…

Pain often trumps pleasure

For the vast majority of business owners I’ve worked with, the trigger that usually causes a compelling and immediate move towards action is when the pain or discomfort gets too intense to bear and action is the only recourse.

The lure of the positive – however fabulous it might be – is usually too unknown, too nebulous a concept, and too dream-like to compel people towards action…which is why pain usually wins out.

Strategic planning, for example, is not the most alluring of services to offer…

I could outline how amazing it feels to be organised, focused and directed, plus have everything neatly on one page in all its glory to be seen daily and keeping you on track…but even I know that it’s not really that compelling a vision to get people to pull out their wallets/hit the ‘buy now’ button and pay the equivalent of fancy meal in London for the pleasure!

What usually works better instead is to understand that the ongoing chaos is starting to have more devastating consequences for my people, or the feeling of treading water and never ever getting closer to the shore is beginning to make them feel like they’re drowning, or that the feeling of life bossing them instead of them bossing life is really getting them down… it’s the pain that causes the trigger pulling, not the allure of the pleasure.

And it’s the same for your prospects, customers and clients or anyone who you wish would hurry the hell up and do something!…you need to know what the trigger is for them, and if you’re agitating the wrong one (let’s say you’re focusing on describing and selling the pleasure when it’s the pain that is the trigger), that’s why you’re not closing sales.

What you need to do: Understand the motivation for their movement – pain or pleasure – and tap into that with your content, your posts and your language, if you want to get them to pull the trigger.

Show Them Behind The Curtain

The unknown is often a scary place; pulling the trigger often means venturing into the unknown and into that scary place of uncertainty. Who would do that willingly, yet alone pay for the privilege?!

That’s the kind of mindset your prospects may be experiencing…they may know they want and need what you’re selling, but right now it’s beyond their place of comfort and they have no idea what to expect.

Starting work with a VA team like the Rescue Desk, for example, is a place of total unknown for many micro and small business owners who’ve been so used to it being just them, that they have no idea how to bring someone onto their team of one!

And so we have a very thorough on-boarding process which I describe in detail during a sales call; when they do join us, they know exactly what to expect – a welcome email, how to set up their account on our helpdesk platform, and some templates to help them submit their first tasks.

And if, after a few days, they still haven’t submitted anything, I follow up personally to make sure they’re ok and don’t need any further help. It takes the mystery out of how to work with us, and what will happen when they do buy from us, and it dramatically improved my closing rate!

What you need to do: When you view your buying process from this perspective, it’s important to lift the veil on what happens once they’ve purchased. Describe the process – what should they expect, what will they see/experience/be sent, when can they expect to experience the pleasure/benefits?

If you want more of your prospects to pull the trigger, think consciously about what makes you do the same…and build this into your interactions, content and outreach strategy for a much greater impact (and higher closing rate!).

Why There’s No Excuse For Not Planning For Your Business Or Your Life

I hear all manner of reasons why people don’t do, want, need, or like strategic planning. Below are the three most common…

“I don’t have a business; I don’t need a plan”

But you have a life, right? And do you have a plan for your life or do you live day to day, seeing what comes?

Most likely, it’s somewhere in between…you have a vague idea of how you want your life to be and the kind of lifestyle you want to live but it’s not solidified in your mind and feels a bit hazy. And it’s possibly more comfortable that way for you…after all, change is hard.

But if you want to give yourself a chance of living the idea of that life that sits just beyond your vision, you’ve got to start by defining it before you can bring it to life, and then planning for it. That kind of life-changing change doesn’t usually just happen…it’s created, consciously and deliberately.

Do you have the courage to create it for yourself? Would you consider starting, by simply creating a plan for it?

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

“I just don’t think in that way and I never will”

Growth mindset, anyone? 😉 Strategic thinking can be learned, and it’s mostly just about learning how to ask the right questions which get you thinking at a higher level, and then understanding how to answer them for yourself. If you want to learn to think in this way, you can do; if you don’t, you won’t. It really is as simple as that…

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” – Carol Dweck

“I don’t like feeling trapped or having things set in stone”

I’m a planner by nature but if you’re more of a ‘winging it’ or ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type of person, then it’s likely the mere thought of having a plan scares the living daylights out of you, right?

The underlying fear here is usually a fear of failure (or even fear of success); it’s not about being trapped or inflexible, it’s about being afraid that you’ll fail at the goals you set for yourself and so it’s far easier not to set them at all, and leave things to chance.

The key then is to understand that actually, on your plan, the goals are arbitrary and almost irrelevant! What most people don’t tell you or realise is that on a longer term strategic plan almost everything is guesswork…

In between now and the timeframe you might set on a plan, so very many things can change that the only thing you can guarantee is that change.

So what then is the purpose of having a plan if none of it may come to fruition and it’s all based on best guesses? Good question! The purpose of a plan is not the plan itself but the process of planning…

It’s this process – of making choices, of narrowing down your options, and of focusing your efforts – which yields the juiciest fruit.

The very act of planning directs, channels and funnels your energy, attention and focus in a way that still leaves things open to opportunity but not too open. This is where the power lies…in the act of planning not the plan itself.

As soon as you realise this, that sense of feeling trapped or hemmed in disappears because the plan itself can and should change…frequently (quarterly, even!).

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson

To get better at strategic planning, join me for a 7-day guided experience and I’ll walk you through how to create the a different kind of strategic plan for your life and/or your business.

What Would Make You Up Your Game?

You know, I don’t think your performance has been good enough so far. You just need to raise your game“.

Those aren’t quite the words you want to hear at a mid-interview feedback session for the dream job you never thought you’d get a shot at. But there I was – head full with a steaming cold – sitting opposite a lady in a white suit wondering how on earth I could raise my game in the final group exercise.

I managed it; in fact I aced the final exercise and I knew it, then and there, that I’d got the job. And I was offered the job along with the £10k golden handshake a full year before I’d even graduated from Warwick Uni.

You’re not that great at change, are you? Not real, core belief change. You’re very rigid.

Cue my jaw dropping on the floor. Doesn’t she know that I’m GREAT at change? I’m always changing stuff. I was nomadic for 3+ years of my life. Not that great at change?!?!???

But she was right – the lady I’d booked a session with to help with a pain in my wrist had managed to pinpoint something rigid within my belief system that has since been game-changing. Much like the lady at my Accenture interview.

They were the last things I wanted to hear or believed about myself at the time. But they were game-changing words that changed my future and I’m grateful to those honest enough to utter them.

What do you need to hear that would result in a seismic, game-changing shift for you?

Are You The Leader Your Business Needs?

As the CEO/owner/co-founder/creator of your business, you are a leader by default. It may not feel like it if all you seem to do is lead yourself (around in circles?!?) and have no followers to speak of, but you are the leader.

Whether you’re at the start up stage or you’re in growth mode as the CEO of your business, your business needs you to step up and lead.

And so it happens that many of us are thrust – or thrust ourselves – into this leadership role without any training, prior experience and know-how of exactly what we’re meant to be doing.

So how do you step up and lead with little or no experience, or a reluctance to be the leader your business needs?

Lead Yourself…

The first step to lead your business more successfully is this: Lead YOURSELF more effectively. But here’s the thing:

What got you here, won’t get you there” – Marshall Goldsmith

As a leader, you need to develop different skills, habits and practices from the ones that likely got you to where you are today. In fact, the very act of doing this – of effective change, and embedding new habits and behaviours that serve you better – is one of the tenets of leading yourself more effectively.

As a leader, it’s your job to identify what is and isn’t working well – for yourself, for your business, and for your people – and then to facilitate the changes that are needed.

There is no change without awareness…

And in order for change to happen, there must be an awareness that change is needed…

How aware are you currently?

  • Is your current pattern of self-talk keeping you where you are (which is not where you want to be)?
  • Have you realised that your current story is not serving you most effectively?
  • Do you know that most of the people around you want you to stay where you are, as you are, and who you are?
  • How well is your current relationship with money working?
  • Do you feel like the leader or CEO you want to be?
  • Are your current plans/actions/beliefs really going to get you to where you want to be?

Without a trigger, awareness keeps you stuck…

Frustratingly, even when you have awareness it still doesn’t always drive change. You may well be aware – of the need for change, of the things holding you back, of the areas where you need the most help – but until the right trigger comes along, you will likely hold off on taking any action to make a change.

Triggers too can come in all sorts of shapes and forms…

  • Have you just missed out on yet another opportunity to do something you want to because you sabotaged/ruined it for yourself?
  • Is this really the story you want to create for yourself or your kids?
  • Are you fed up yet with seeing others make it happen while you go nowhere, year after year?
  • Are you sick (maybe even literally) of putting everyone else first, and have you finally realised that perhaps ‘their’ best interests aren’t necessarily in YOUR best interests?
  • Do you hate the money story you seem to be creating for yourself?

You know what it’s like when you deeply want to do something, be something or have something and yet you can’t seem to get over yourself to achieve it, don’t you?

Leading yourself is about cultivating awareness of what needs to change, and using the trigger(s) – whatever these may be – to drive through change, whether this means embedding new habits, starting new practices, or trying different behaviours that serve you better.

You can’t lead your business, until you can lead yourself successfully. How well are you leading yourself? What’s your trigger to change?

RETHINK: Copywriting

In this audio series, I pose a question designed to help you RETHINK the way you may currently doing something. In this episode, I’m RETHINKING copywriting; more specifically how to write with more impact…


In this audio series, I pose a question designed to help you RETHINK the way you may currently doing something. In this episode, I’m RETHINKING email…

Have You Actually Planned Your Game-Changing Success?

If you look at today’s game changers of this world – the Elon Musks, the Richard Bransons and the Oprah Winfreys – game-changing doesn’t just happen on its own, left to chance and happenstance. It is planned strategically from the start.

If you’re sitting on a business that could be a game changer but it’s not there yet, what will it take to make it so?

Here are three things you need to build into your strategic plan to bring to life the game-changing vision you have…

#1 Operate Out Of Everyone’s Comfort Zone

If you want your business to be a game changer, then you’re going to have to get comfortable with operating far beyond your and anyone else’s comfort zone.

Game-changers are often pioneers – pushing the boundaries, challenging the status quo, and operating in a field that few others are courageous enough to step into.

Obviously this isn’t likely to be comfortable, and yet it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable either; it’s a matter of perspective and in these realms, the rules are often different (and maybe even not yet written).

As pioneers of the location independent movement, we quickly realised that playing by the rules meant very different things in different places and that, most of the time, the only consistent thing was change.

If you’re currently comfortable and working in your bubble of ‘business as usual’ mode – writing books, running workshops, publishing blog posts, hosting webinars, or perhaps even procrastinating and kidding yourself that you’re progressing – but your business and your actions aren’t having the impact you want, perhaps it’s time to push beyond these boundaries of comfort into something more.

Take a look at your strategic plan and ask yourself this:

Where do you need to push yourself over the boundaries of your comfort zone, in order to have the bigger impact you want? 

#2 Do What No-one Else Is Willing To Do

Changing the game is often simply a by-product of doing something different, doing something better and doing the things that no-one else is willing or able to do.

When Richard Branson started Virgin Atlantic, he took on the likes of BA and did what few airlines in the industry were doing at the time…cared about his customers:“We just made it that much more special than all the other airlines we were competing with” Richard says.

If you want your project to be a game changer, ask yourself this:

What is no-one else willing to do, that I am?

#3 Be Ruthlessly Consistent

When you’re working on a purpose-fuelled venture, there is no top of the hill to reach…it’s an ongoing, never-ending march from one milestone to the next, looking for ongoing improvement and progress. Game-changers keep plugging away through the challenges, the failures and the successes.

This is why consistency is key. It can feel boring – especially to those of us who like the shiny new things – and it can be easy to get distracted from the purpose or broaden the scope too quickly.

If you struggle with consistency and wonder whether what you’re doing is what you should be doing, ask yourself this:

Am I consistently doing what my business needs me to do to deliver on its promise?

Game-changing businesses do NOT happen by accident; take a long, hard look at your strategic plan and ask yourself if what you’ve got on there is going to build the game-changing vision you have.

How To Stand Out In A Sea Of Same-ness (Even If You’re Not Sure What Makes You Special)

Do you ever stop and wonder why – despite all the hard work you’ve put in to your business – you still feel like just another one of the millions of coaches, web designers, writers, yoga teachers, [insert your role here] in your industry?

Perhaps it’s dawning on you that – to the outside world, the one that matters to your business at least i.e. your prospects, clients and customers NOT your Mum, your mates and anyone else who has hitherto been sticking their well-meaning oar in guiding you with unqualified business advice – your business is just. Nothing. Special. Sob.

In a sea of same-ness and if you’re unsure of what exactly makes you special – what on earth is your USP? – here are three ways to identify if you’re falling into the trap of same-old, same-old…

#1 What language do you use?

Read the home page of your website. Are you using words that every pro and his dog uses in your industry? Are you offering an SEO-friendly, fully responsive website? [Do your ideal clients even know why that matters?] Are you passionate about helping people to live their best life? Do you help people unleash their greatness? Or discover their purpose? Does the language you’re using really sound like you? Is it really that special? Is it really that different? Is it really YOU?

#2 How are you marketing your business?

Are you all about the funnels? The podcasts? The Facebook groups? The leadpages? Are you using the same strategies and tactics that your colleagues are using? [Do you all follow the same people sharing the same advice?] How well is that working out for you and your special business?

#3 What’s your product portfolio like?

A clarity/power/vision/discovery call? A ££££ coaching programme? A VIP day? Is this the way you really want to work or is this simply the way everyone does it and it works for them?

How To Truly Stand Out From The Sea Of Same-ness

A business that hasn’t yet tapped into and can’t communicate what makes it special is a business that is more likely to struggle than a business which knows and can clearly communicate what sets it apart. And the good thing is that it’s not actually that difficult to stand out…there are plenty of great role models who do it.

Let your personality truly shine through

…even if you’ve always been told it’s not ‘professional’ to do so. 

Like Shona whose use of Instagram to build her brand as a yoga teacher and personal trainer is so smart and savvy. Her personality shines through in the comments on each picture she posts and this is carried through to her recently launched new website too. She’s building a powerhouse global brand and you can see how she’s doing it in plain sight on Instagram.

Pick a communication channel you like

…and use it consistently and *really* well.

Like Heather from Mommypotamus – a healthy ‘Mom’ blogger – who has an impressive following primarily on Facebook, a platform she leverages really well. If you follow her for any length of time, you’ll notice she recycles posts in a timely manner (but not too often that it’s noticeable), she’s great at boundaries (knowing when to respond to comments and when not to), and gets an active response to almost everything she posts. She’s clearly present and yet I don’t get the impression that she spends hours and hours managing the page.

Find a unique way to use your skills

…and offer something different.

Like Jackie who is building a values-based business from the ground up, using core values as a guiding light to leverage her coaching skills and build something different than your typical life coaching business.

Do the same thing as others

…but do it REALLY well or a little differently.

Like the marketing course we run at Inspiring Ventures. While at it’s core it’s an online course to help you have more fun marketing your business, we’ve given it a little twist which makes it stand out very clearly in the sea of online marketing courses around.

The brutal truth is that few business owners have the awareness to see that they’re nothing special and the balls to do something about it. Do you?

Is Your Business Ready For These Game-Changing Developments?

You do not need me to tell you how quickly things are changing these days. Perhaps the best example is a mobile phone…In just a few short years, that little box in our hand is now able to replace:

  • A high-powered digital camera.
  • A shelf full of books.
  • A daily newspaper.
  • A shelf full of DVDs, CDs and records.
  • A television, DVD player, CD player and radio.
  • A scanner.
  • Bank cards and ATM machines.
  • A GPS device.
  • Road maps.
  • A voice recorder.
  • Loyalty cards

The mobile phone has been a game-changing development for many businesses – as business owners we now have to consider ‘optimising for mobile’, and the fact that the first point of contact with our business for many of our customers, clients and audiences is via a mobile device. And this when so many businesses haven’t even got themselves properly online yet :-O

The following are three more developments which have the potential to change the game for us all, and the prudent, visionary business owner has these in their sights (or at least in their business plans)…

#1 The Future of Work

Four-hour workdays, remote workforces, increasing numbers of freelancers, ROWE (Results-Only Work Environments)…there are many, many trends in the way we work that – if they all converge at once – could signal a drastic change in the careers of the future.

While on the one hand this is a positive thing – potentially more freedom, more control and no big boss man to answer to – it also has some game-changing ramifications.

Everyone is going to have to get a LOT better at managing their own careers – gone are many of the traditional ‘career for life’ paths which means skills in personal branding, entrepreneurship, self-employment and marketing are going to be even more crucial than they are today.

How This Affects You As A Business Owner

What that means however, if you already run your own business or are just starting out, is that there will be a LOT more competition for clients and customers than ever before. Your business needs to be ready for this which means your marketing strategy and systems need to be in place and working.

If you’re already struggling, imagine how it will be when colleagues, friends and family are potentially running a competing business and offering their freelancing services to the same audience you are currently. Now is the time to do something about this…

  • Define clear, consistent and stand-out branding messages.
  • Focus on a well-defined audience who you are ideally positioned to serve.
  • Start forging relationships with key people of influence in your network to help build a strong referral engine for your business.
  • Get all the basic foundations in place to help you execute your marketing strategy – email marketing, social media channels, advertising and/or PR…whatever combination you’ve chosen for your business.
  • Get your marketing working so you’re already building a healthy pipeline of people wanting to

#2 The Speedy Lifecycle of Tools

If you’re just getting used to Instagram or Whatsapp or even Twitter, you’re already behind the curve! People are moving to Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat and Blab, and even those are likely to be superseded by other tools in a matter of weeks or months.

This is not a new phenomenon though it’s getting worse (or better, depending upon your point of view!). Just take a look at Product Hunt to see quite how many tools are released on a daily basis. This is not going to change either – new tools are going to keep coming at you for quite a while yet.

How This Affects You As A Business Owner

What this means is that you need to get comfortable with continually assessing whether the tools you’re using are the best for the job, and ensuring your business is flexible, agile, secure, scalable and sustainable enough to be able to switch between tools when needed. It means:

  • You need to decide upon a core set of tools to drive your mission-critical business foundations; I call this your business engine. This set of tools should be relatively stable and something you’re happy to commit to for the longer term (versus switching frequently).
  • For other key functions in your business – client management, email marketing etc. – it’s worth selecting tools that have a solid history and reputation. It’s possible to change these tools but it isn’t always a comfortable process.
  • For non mission-critical functions, feel free to experiment and explore; this is where you can give yourself the flexibility to switch things up.

If you’re already a technophobe and feel you’re being left behind, this momentum is only going to accelerate and leave you even further behind; NOW is the time to get yourself up to speed (even at a basic level), so that your business won’t be outpaced by the technology necessary (or not) to run it.

#3 Increasing Globalisation

As a relative veteran of location independence and working in a global manner for the past 10+ years, I’ve seen an increase in the number of tools, resources, platforms and jobs to enable people to work more globally without the friction there once was. Again, this is likely to increase though I suspect more regulation will be introduced as countries realise that physical borders have less of an impact in the online world of work.

How This Affects You As A Business Owner

While globalisation no doubt expands your horizons and world, it also has an impact on your business that isn’t all 100% clear. Things that you’ll have to be more conscious and aware of include:

  • How to find, communicate and connect with customers and clients in a different country to you.
  • How to navigate time zones, different languages and different cultural working practices.
  • How to scale and grow your business with a workforce that may not be in the same country as you.
  • How to figure out the practicalities of running a global business, such as taxes, regulations and more.
  • How to navigate and stand out in an even bigger competitive field than just your local, regional or national industry. Though this of course depends upon how you look at it, and you may find even more people to collaborate with 😉

The combination of these three trends is pointing to a HUGE shift in the work landscape in the not-so-distant future; for existing business owners, NOW is the time to start future-proofing your business and get your house in order.

If you address these developments NOW in your strategic plan, your business will be in a great position to take advantage of these trends, rather than being threatened by them. Which would you prefer?

Five Ways Your Seemingly Boring Business Can Stand Out

It is easy to look at successful businesses around you and say, “I just can’t see how that would work for my business”, and go back to your business-as-usual mindset…

Perhaps you’re one of millions of life coaches trying to find your niche or maybe you’re a web designer trucking along pitching for projects. With that mindset you’re unlikely to build a game-changing business but that doesn’t mean your business can’t be a game-changer.

Here I’d like to explore five different ways you can stand out as a game-changed even if your business – at first glimpse – appears anything but…

1. Do Business Differently

Let’s take Buffer – the company behind the popular social media sharing tool, Buffer App. On the face of it, while the app is well designed, well built, well executed and well supported, it is after all ‘just’ a social media sharing tool…perhaps game-changing when it first launched but not the only one of its kind these days.

What has kept the company a game changer in the start-up field however is the way it does business – it’s the way the company executes the vision and builds the business upon its 10 core values that has made it a game changer among its peers.

Questions For You:

  • What are the accepted ways of doing business in your industry that aren’t, in your opinion, as good as they can be?
  • What could you do that could change the landscape for you and your competitors – along the lines of the saying, ‘A rising tide that lifts all boats’?

2. Challenge The Incumbents

Richard Branson has built his empire on this premise…to challenge the status quo and give people a choice in industries where either previously few/none existed, or what did exist wasn’t good enough.

In each field, he has changed the game for the industry and for consumers by giving greater choice and sharing the ‘Virgin’ way – airlines, trains, banking, media…the common thread throughout is that he believed he could do it better than it was already being done.

Questions For You:

  • How can you offer a choice that isn’t currently available to your customers/clients from anywhere or anyone else?
  • How can you do things better than the way they’re currently done?

3. Do It Differently

I consulted for and mentored a client who is building a chain of eco lodges. This in itself is not a unique product, except there’s a mission behind the project that means the venture also provides a global platform to people who haven’t previously had a voice on that level.

They’re doing something fairly conventional but using it in an unconventional way to change the game for the local community on a level that hasn’t been done before.

Questions For You:

  • What could you do differently that – while it may appear unconventional, expensive, or even impossible at first – would be a game changer for those involved?
  • How could you expand/deepen/broaden what you do to add an extra level to your business and its mission?
  • Instead of aiming for a win-win, how could you make it a win-win-win?

4. Do What Can’t Be Done

Visionaries like Elon Musk look at game-changing problems with the belief and insistence that they can be solved. I’m working with a client who also believes that their work has the potential to change the health industry if it’s successful.

These are lofty goals and this is perhaps the hardest way to become a game changer; it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though. Just because something hasn’t been done before and people say it can’t be done, does not mean we should give up…especially if it could be a game changer.

Questions For You:

  • What unsolvable problem do you believe needs to be solved?
  • If you can’t solve it, do you know anyone who does or who can? (If you do, give them all the support you can – they’ll need it and they deserve it!)

5. Do It For Someone Different

All credit to the person who brought yoga into the mainstream. Previously the domain of yogis and natives of India, yoga is now ingrained into the western world and health culture. Whoever saw that yoga would be a great antidote to the harder-faster-stronger fitness mentality of the West clearly saw a gap in the market and has filled it with aplomb.

Taking what you offer to an entirely different, uncommon audience can be a powerful way to expand your business in a game-changing way for all.

Questions For You:

  • Is there a group of people you’d love to work with but you’ve never done it because no-one else has before?
  • When you think about the benefits of what your business does, who else would benefit from them?

Ensuring your business stands out doesn’t happen overnight nor does it happen by chance…becoming a game changer is a side effect of doing something worth doing that nobody else can be bothered to do.

How’s your plan looking? Are you planning to stand out or does your plan have you building a business that struggles to distinguish itself in a sea of same-ness?

Are You Afraid of Your Own Success?

Do you frequently self sabotage right when you’re on the cusp of success? Do you procrastinate, delay and faff even though you’re excited and passionate about what you do?

Do you let yourself get easily overwhelmed by the less-than-priority tasks on your list? Or do you struggle to focus on a task at hand or one specific venture, preferring instead to jump from thing to thing, hiding under the guise of being a multi-passionate person?

Are you afraid of your own success?

This particular fear is a sneaky one because it often masquerades as something else – perfectionism, fear of failure, procrastination, or multi-passionate tendencies. But what lies beneath is often a chronic fear of succeeding at the very thing you’re aiming for.

If this might be true for you – as it is for several people I’ve worked with – here is a process to get over this fear and move forwards…

What are you really afraid of?

What does success look like to you? What is it about being successful that you’re afraid of? Very often it’s not actually success that people are afraid of but some of the trappings that might go with it…

  • Overwhelm (from people, requests, emails, work etc.)
  • Added responsibility and pressure
  • Needing to make (even) more decisions
  • Change

…it’s the last one that can be the sneakiest. Change makes many of us nervous, even good change. As I talk about a lot with clients, changing the status quo is hard.

Why would you actively choose the unknown, unpredictability of change when you can stay with the comfy status quo, even though it may not be all that right for you?  Better the devil you know, right?

If you can tease out of your own mind exactly what it is you imagine happening when you’re successful that might be so terrible, it’s a good start.

Tell (Sell) Yourself a Different Story

When you’ve figured out what your story for success actually is – and you’ve worked out what element of success is freaking you out, you can change it.

There are no guarantees that what you fear won’t happen, but I can guarantee that if you fear it and you focus on it then it will happen! So it’s time to change the story.

Begin to imagine what will happen when you’re successful?

  1. Clarify the story – the picture, the sounds, the smells, the sights, the people, the colours – of what positive success means for you.
  2. Amplify the story – bring it to life, draw it, paint it, vision board it. Make this story of positive success more compelling and real than the other less attractive one.

And if your story of success has been shaped by someone else’s experience – begin instead to seek out stories with an alternate ending to the one you’re currently believing: If your father’s / husband’s / mother’s / grandparents’ success doesn’t give you a motivating, inspiring, positive model, find ones that do.

Find people whose success looks like the kind of success you want; get to know them, ask them questions and begin to define your own, new success story which attracts, rather than repels you.

Prepare for Success

This is where we get practical. And honest. The truth? When you are successful some (or even all) of the things you fear may happen…

  • Your inbox might explode, and you can no longer achieve Inbox 0 every day.
  • You may not have time to do the stuff you love, and instead get stuck doing the bits you hate just to keep up.
  • The people around you may change.
  • Your life as you know it now may change beyond recognition.

You can’t always plan for success but you can prepare for it. When you’re in a quieter, smaller stage of your business use this time to build strong foundations:

  • Get your strategies in place.
  • Get your systems and processes in place.
  • Choose tools that can grow with you, or at least make the growth transition as smooth as possible.
  • Have a growth plan in place, especially when it comes to outsourcing, hiring and how to grow beyond yourself if (when) the time comes.

Success is what you make it. It can be a scary, hairy, stressful place or it can be the place that brings you everything you’ve always dreamed of. Which do you choose?

Do You Have To Be So Damn Nice All the Time?

There is so much nice-ness, so much sugary sweet, so much…not being-you-ness around online. And oh-so-much fear.

All this talk about authenticity online and here we are drowning in nice-ness…and did I mention fear?

It’s easy to be drawn into it – to be drawn into this need to be liked by the people who follow you.

If the “namastes”, the hugs and the kisses are really not like the usual you and you’re using them because if you don’t, people will think you’re not that nice {Gasp}

They’ll think you’re not that loving {Shock}…

They’ll think that you don’t care {Horror}…

And they’ll think you’re not enlightened/aware/conscious/awake/[insert whatever it is you want to be seen as but fear you’re not].

How does it feel to behave so unlike the real you most of the time you’re online?

Previously I’ve been drawn into feeling the need to show how nice I am, to be the sugary, nice-as-pie version of me. Not the spiky, sharp, fast-speaking, hard-headed (but soft-hearted) Type A me that I know, love and am proud to be.

Over the years I’ve mellowed but I still struggle to put ‘x’ at the end of a business email to someone I’ve only just been in touch with! I do want people to like me, just as much as you want people to like you. But I want them to like me. The real, whole, not-always-nice me.

Because it’s exhausting being that nice all the time, isn’t it? It’s just. Not. Me. And I know it’s probably not you, either.

I know you have spiky edges, you have dark moods, you have a bit of bite to you. And I know that you’re hiding this side to you – perhaps unconsciously – because the people you’re hanging with online are all so damn nice too.

And if you weren’t so nice too, you might not be accepted. You might not fit in…

You might not be thought of or spoken of in the same sentence as [insert names of the Queens of Nice]. You might not be invited to blog on [insert names of Nice Blogs]. You might not have a thriving business.

I’m all for some nice but I’d much rather get to know you, get to see you, darkness and all.

I’d much rather you didn’t retreat online when the risk of those spiky edges showing up is too great that you disengage. Those are the edges along which I’d much rather connect…

Because the depth you have, the dark you reveal, the sharp, spiky edges you display – that is where true connections are forged.

Those deeper, darker places are often where we relate on a deeper level, knowing yet still accepting each other not in spite of but because of these aspects of ourselves.

That’s what authenticity means to me. What does it mean to you?

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