What are you willing to struggle for?

Mark Manson Quote

Dreams are important. I’m a dreamer. Dreams are just dreams until you take action.

You could have a six-pack IF you’re willing to eat a strict clean diet and workout religiously. You could have your own business IF you want the responsibility and hard work that comes with it. You could write a book IF you’re willing to write daily until its done.

You get the point.

Ultimately it comes down to this: What are you willing to struggle for?

If you want something, work your ass off for it. Don’t cut corners. Don’t give up even when you think you bombed, or you think you have no shot.

Enlist people to help you. Put it out there in the world. Prepare like a maniac. Do your power poses. Dress for it. Practice feeling how you want to feel during and after.

The interview didn’t go perfect? Nail the follow-up.

Do more than is expected. Have others advocate on your behalf.

Even if you don’t get the thing you’re striving for, think how much you’ll learn in the process! Think about how people will respect your efforts and open up other opportunities.

And who knows, you may get exactly the stretch goal you’ve been dreaming about.

What’s your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and what are you willing to struggle for to get it?

Check out the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck for more on this topic.

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Listen To Your Gut

There isn’t always a “right” answer. There isn’t always a clear path. And there definitely isn’t always a linear path.

There is your right answer. And you already know the answer. Paula reminds me of this on our walk and talks.

You already know the right answer IF, you’re tuned in to yourself. IF, you’re listening to your inner self. IF, you’re listening to what your body is saying.

Listening, really listening, means giving yourself a quiet space. Turning off the crazy amount of distractions and notifications.

It means being brave enough to silence the “should” and trust yourself.

You know how you feel about something, and you know when something isn’t right. You know when something is a hell yeah. Trust. Your. Self. And make the change.

There are 98 days left in 2017.

What parts of your life do you need to reevaluate?

Where do you need to make a big change?

How do you want to take action?

Where will you cultivate pause to listen to what your soul is telling you?

If you need a little extra motivation, I can’t put down Elle Luna’s book The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion. Buy the hardcover, the book is beautiful.

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Act First, Then Inspiration Comes

What do you do when you’re in-between time, when one chapter of your live or work has ended and yet it feels like the next one hasn’t started yet?

I’ve been in this space and was so grateful when my friend Brooke named this for me. It’s called Chrysalis Time – the time in between being a caterpillar but not yet a butterfly.

I’ve gone through a few big transitions and for the first time in awhile I’m not sure what my personal goals are. There are things I want but can’t control. I’m figuring out what I want to continue and what I want to manifest next. It’s been a time of hibernating, but also of desperately needing companionship.

I’ve found comfort in Tara Mohr’s words:
Know it for what it is. Name it as chrysalis time.
Know it is normal.
Know it is universal.
Know it is temporary.
Allow the cocooning but be mindful it doesn’t turn to isolation.
Have compassion for all the ways it is hard – the disintegration, the waiting, the discomfort.
Remember you can’t rush the process.
But remember you can help the process.

For an uber planner/achiever/doer, this time seems extra hard. Knowing it’s normal helps.

Talking to friends who listen helps, exercising, getting outside, starting a project and putting pen to paper or hands to keyboard all help.

Go to the thing, even if you only get yourself there by saying you’ll go for an hour (you may end up staying out all night!).

The key is you have to actually move.

Even if you don’t know what to do, you have to begin.

Some people think ‘Well I don’t have an idea, so I can’t start.’

Wrong! Robert Rodriguez puts it best; “You’ll only get the idea once you start. It’s this totally reverse thing. You have to act first before inspiration will hit. You don’t wait for inspiration and then act, or you’re never going to act, because you’re never going to have the inspiration, not consistently.”

In what ways will you move, take action, and start the thing this week?

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Stretch Yourself, Do Uncomfortable Things

This week, I encourage you to take inventory and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What have you done this summer to stretch yourself?
  • What new experience have you tried and ended up loving?
  • Who are the people in your life who challenge you to be your best?
  • What are you reading or listening to that provides alternate perspectives?
  • What or who do you need to cut from your life that’s getting in your way?
  • Since last year, in what areas have you seen exponential growth?
  • This summer has been all about growth, stretching, and saying ‘Yes’ to big challenges. I just came off a big sprint. Our team had the chance to make magic happen at our first Customer Love Summit (read all about it), I had the privilege to speak to high school girls at App Camp for Girls, and I got to speak on a panel about Word of Mouth with three CEO’s and the legendary point guard Sue Bird (yes, I was star struck).

    From these experiences, I learned we’re capable of so much more than we think, it takes a team to make special things come to life, if you’re going to do the work, get up on stage, and always, always prepare before you give a talk.

    What is one thing you’ll do this week that’s uncomfortable?

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    From Networking to Dealmaking

    About a month ago, Seattle hosted our first Alley to the Valley (A2V) Summit with 65 handpicked influential women who are entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives.

    What hooked me about being a part of this, is that the point of A2V Summits is to get past networking, and get to dealmaking. It’s a day to make things happen for each other and accelerate your goals.

    While there were some powerful speaking sessions, the most important part of the day was the Ask/Offer Sessions, when each Dealmaker shared who they are, what they are asking for and why. For example, women asked for funding for their startup, for intros to strategic partners, for co-founders, for board seat opportunities, etc.

    Here’s what I learned:

    Get clear on what you most want
    What is the domino that will start knocking over the rest of the dominos? What do you need to find out first before you can choose a certain path? What doors can this specific group of people help you open that would be harder to do without them?

    Figure out who can help
    Do your homework and know your audience. Pick an ask that they can help you with and think of how you can provide value to them ahead of time.

    Tailor your profile
    We’ve all accomplished so much, but the key is to focus your profile. Our amazing coach Keita Williams taught us that your supporting materials (aka your bio, LinkedIn profile etc.) must support your ask. Meaning, if you’re raising money for your start-up, your profile should talk about your business and your entrepreneurial chops. Or if you’re a VC, your bio should talk about which type of start-ups you invest in.

    Craft your ask for the audience
    Everyone in the room is busy, so make it as easy as possible for them to help you. Instead of asking for intros to executives in the auto industry, provide a list of company names and executive titles you’re looking to meet. Get as specific as possible, provide examples, and demonstrate that you won’t waste the introduction.

    Follow-up and make the magic happen
    Once people have offered to make an introduction or offered to help, it’s on you to follow-up. You may have to follow-up a few times with gentle nudges. Think about how to make it easy to help you. For example, you could write a sample introduction email that your contact can copy and paste.

    Give and share your network
    Most importantly, what introductions can you make, or advice can you share to help someone else advance their goals? We each have built networks and can help open doors for others.

    The conference was designed around this dealmaking format, but this ask/offer framework can also work in many situations. I love it because it helps the conversation get past small talk to thinking about ways we can support each others in our goals.

    What is your biggest ask? Who can open doors for you? How can you help others achieve their goals?

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