Your past is a shadow, not your prison | intuitive life lessons

This morning, I sat in my living room, playing with my 7 month old son, and feeling so happy. The sun was streaming into our room, he was happy, I had gotten a full night of sleep, and nostalgia as I remembered that today was pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.

Memories of my past as shadows

Two years ago, I was between miscarriages. I was about to get pregnant for the second time this time two years ago. I remember how shattered my world felt for a season. And as I sat playing with my perfect baby in the most beautiful home, surrounded by sunlight, I was filled with gratitude. I felt a twinge of sadness, but it was different this time. I didn’t own my sadness. I felt it come into my heart, like a stranger, then leave, like a whisp of steam.

At first I felt concerned-does this mean I’m pushing away those feelings? Or, maybe, just maybe, this is a sign that I’m healing.

As I thought about the fleeting visit from grief, I saw a beautiful shadow on my wall. The beautiful sunlight streaming had hit a vase of branches in my living room, creating a beautiful play of shadows dancing on my wall. The shadows danced for such a quick minute-I ran to get my camera and they had already changed!

And then it hit me. The reason that I loved the sunlight streaming into my living room was because of the beautiful shadows it created. You see, there’s beauty in the shadows, the difficult times in our lives. They are gone so quickly, but while they’re there, they help us see the light so much more.

Your past as a prison

The shadows don’t actually exist. They’re just a mirage-when we treat them as our current reality, we are choosing to live as a shadow. And our shadows become our prisons. Trade in the prison of your past for light.

Dear one reading this today, step back from the shadows of your life and take a look at them. Why are they there? They’re there to remind you that you’re alive. That YOU are standing in the sunlight.

So, turn and face the light.

You’ve been staring at the shadows for so long that you have forgotten what the sun on your face feels like. Turn your back on the shadows, not the light. For the shadows will come and go. But the light stays.

It’s time to turn and face the sun and let the shadows fall behind you.

When the memories of past hurts or dark seasons of grief come back to your life, don’t shove them away or greet them with fear. Welcome the grief like a long lost friend coming for dinner. She’s not staying. But she’s there for a reason. Sit with her for a minute, understand her, and ask her what she wants you to know.

Could it simply be that your past wants you to remember that it’s a shadow, not a prison?

Thank you to Bekah of Sankalpa Life Yoga and Wellness for the life-giving conversation that inspired this post. (If you aren’t following Bekah on instagram, do it now. You’ll feel her beauty and strength in each post.)

3 business lessons I learned from making grilled cheese sandwiches

It’s rainy and cold. What do you make for dinner?

Tomato soup and grilled cheese-it’s a classic! And that’s just what I did a few weeks ago. An easy meal, perfect for a chilly gray day. Until I burned the life out of the grilled cheese. facepalm. But, as soon as I flipped those charred sammies, I knew exactly what I was supposed learn-like a big thunk on my forehead from God.

I’m getting really stinkin’ good at learning lessons in my everyday activities-so good, in fact, that I will often call Stephen while drive just two miles away to the store to share something I learned! I’ve been keeping a little list of those lessons-here’s the first one:

3 business lessons I learned from making grilled cheese sandwiches

Don’t overthink things

A grilled cheese is one of the simplest food items you can make. Seriously, bread, cheese, butter. But the last time I made a grilled cheese, the outside was dark and the cheese wasn’t super melty, so I decided to look up a recipe.

(I doubted myself)

Then I decided to zhouzh up the sandwich with a yummy spread.

(I wanted to create the best possible product)

All I could think was “Oh, I hope Stephen’s super impressed with my gourmet grilled cheese!” I spent so much time concerned about his opinion of these dumb sandwiches that I overthought every step. How to butter the bread. How to get them that perfect golden-brown. How to get the cheese gooey.

(I was frantically attached to an outcome)

As I ooooooverthought each step, I got the opposite result from what I wanted. A charred sandwich that no one wanted.

Sometimes, the more we try to make something perfect for someone, the more prone we are to make mistakes. We overcomplicate things. We get stuck in a vortex of adding…and never actually finishing. And we overthink an otherwise simple job.

How to fix an overthinking problem

How can you take action on something you know you’ve been overthinking? What do you just need to put out into the world that you’re currently overthinking and you know it?

Hit publish.

Hit record.

Click send.

And stop overthinking it.

Make the best product you can without overthinking it.

Learn to focus

I was so busy stirring soup, refreshing my phone screen, reading the recipe, adding ingredients, and checking temps that, without thinking, I added olive oil to my pan (mistake #1). I then let the oil overheat (mistake #2). When I laid down the already buttered bread, the smoking oil burned the bread on contact.

You see, there’s a looooot of our brain that runs on auto pilot to conserve energy. I mean, our brains burn somewhere around 80% of our total daily calories, so that smart lil thing wants to put itself on cruise every chance it can.

In my case, I had wayyyy too many things happening at once. I maxed out my thinking capacity, and parts of my brain started conserving energy by running on autopilot. What do I normally do when I take out my skillet? I add oil. I didn’t even have to think-I just did it, even though it wasn’t what I needed for this job.

Here’s the thing-There are SO many times in our businesses that we’re trying to do WAY too many things at once and, in the process, we over complicate simple jobs. We overthink things that should be easy, and we don’t get things done because we keep thinking of something to fix or reword.

You’ll know when to flip-taking action intuitively

The last lesson came after I remade the dang sandwiches. I tuned out distractions, stopped caring about what Stephen thought about my sandwiches, and just started making them.

In fact, I stayed focused while they toasted in the pan. I didn’t scroll on my phone. I just stood there. I wanted to give my intuition the chance to nudge me and it did! All of a sudden, I had a feeling that it was time to flip the sandwiches. I lifted the corners and they were perfect!

And in that moment, I realized that a lot of business is like that. When you get quiet, focus, and listen to your intuition, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to take action, release a new product, launch a course, unroll a new service.

So, how can you find a way to get quiet in your life and business so you can listen to your intuition?




Overcoming client objections | How I overcame the "I can't afford you" objection and made an extra $15k

You get an inquiry in your inbox-YESSSSS, this is it! You hit it off big time in that first call or meeting and feel confident they will book with you.

Until…they don’t.

Of course it’s a jolting halt when you hear them say something like “Thanks for your time! We loved meeting you but have decided to go with someone else who’s a better fit for our budget.”

Wait...WHAT? Painful, right? But not permanent. Lemme show you some cool tools to help you overcome every price objection.


My Results

I’m going to share with you the very tips I’ve used to book clients, adding an extra $15k to my yearly income in 2017 that I would have otherwise walked away from. Income that other photographers DID walk away from. And income that got me major publicity and multiple referral bookings.

You see, I wasn’t afraid when a client had their Manhattan based attorney mark up my contract, hoping I’d agree to give away my copyright. I knew just what to do when a potential client told me their budget was $1,500 less than my starting rates…but they had my dream event. And I wasn’t afraid when a client told me they were deciding between me and one other photographer.

And that’s why I made an extra $15,000 last year. I mean...would you like an extra $15k this year? Read on:


What’s an objection?

Quite simply, an objection is something that prevents clients from booking with you. Sometimes they let you know…often times they don’t. That’s normal and shouldn’t feel frustrating. Today, we’re specifically talking about clients who might not book with you because you’re out of their budget. How do you turn them around into paying clients?

Uncover pricing objections early

This might seem kinda obvious, but, sometimes we forget that finding objections is on US not the client. So, asking the right questions is key to finding the objections you can then overcome.You can’t deal with an objection if you haven’t asked what they are. Don’t let fear hold you back-ask the questions!

Here are 3 valuable questions to ask to uncover your clients’ objections:

Are all the decision makers on this call right now? (if not...you’re not going to book them!)

Is there any reason you wouldn’t be able to book with me right now?

What would make this offer work for you?

Understand what “I can’t afford it really means

When a client says they can’t afford your offer, it’s pretty rare that that’s the real issue. That’s just what they think you might understand. Yeah, money may be at play, but underneath of that, clients often have 2 big needs you’d have to meet in order to book:

Budget = a fear of intimacy

in SO MANY cases, the excuse “i can’t afford it,” is covering up your clients fear of intimacy. Making a serious investment means they’re showing up for their biggest dreams. They’re allowing someone in, and they’re putting a stake in the ground and saying “hey, I am so worth it!”

If your client is struggling with a fear of intimacy, use the “ask why 5 times” method (don’t know what that is? Shoot me an email and I’ll break it down) and prepare to touch on something emotional. Give them permission to feel what they need to feel, affirm that you can give them the important thing they are looking for, and then move into the action step of booking.

Does your offer meet their basic needs?

A few years ago, I was shopping for a computer. I was seriously considering switching from apple to windows and had someone tell me about each system.

The person who told me about the Windows system overloaded me with features. Fancy things the computer could do, bells and whistles. I was impressed, for sure. But want to know why I didn’t buy a windows based system? Because they didn’t answer my one question:

How do I move between desktop screens? Suuuuuuuch a simple question, right? And it was the exact question that lost that person the sale. Why?

He didn’t take care of my actual needs AND he overcomplicated things.

Are you doing this with your clients?

The 6 core human needs and your offer

Creating an offer that actually meets your clients needs is the starting place for any offer. The shiny things come afterward.

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Tony Robbins talks about 6 core needs we all have. Understanding these needs will help you know how to tailor your offer to your clients.

Take time to listen to your clients, try to identify their biggest needs from the sliding scale below, and find ways to meet those needs.

Do they need certainty?

Show them a gallery from their venue, show them results you’ve gotten someone, show them an outline of how you’d work together, get that engagement session on the calendar.

Do they need love & connection?

Send them tips/tricks you saw on their favorite blog “just because you were thinking about them.” Send them a beautiful gift, a handwritten card, etc. Find a way to show them you care, you understand, and you are there for them.

Do they need Growth?

Share your process with them-invite them in and create a collaborative atmosphere that nurtures their growth. Instead of telling them your ideas, ask for theirs. And keep reminding them of the growth they’re experiencing because of your work together. Look for ways to track and measure that growth and find ways to celebrate it with that person.

Price objections are a mirror for your inner beliefs about money

Here’s one of the most powerful take aways of this whole article: your price objections could simply be a MIRROR for how much you’re saying “I can’t afford it.”

This feels kinda hard to admit, but when I’m hearing a lot of money objections in my business, chances are, it’s because I’m saying it a lot.

Wait...what??

Yeah! Your outer world simply mirrors your inner world! And until you take radical responsibility for your inner world, you’ll be a victim to your outer world.

Here’s the thing-Money is just energy. It goes where it’s wanted and welcomed. And it doesn’t go where it’s neglected and resented. Chances are, those bummer words from a potential client are the universe simply echoing your OWN words back at you!

Chances are, you’re in a place where you feel stuck in your business. You need help getting unstuck, getting inspired, getting unafraid. But you don’t know how you’d pay for it, so you say “I can’t afford it,” “it's out of my budget,” or “I can’t make the numbers work.”

It’s such a hard place to be in-to feel like you know what you need but can’t have it. You’re NOT alone if you feel that way. And there is a solution.

Are you ready for the solution?

You need to go spend money on something you’ve either told yourself or been told was too expensive. This is especially powerful if you can connect with something you were told you couldn’t have due to money when you were between the ages of 0-7 years old.

I’ll be sharing how I did this exact thing over on instagram stories and how it helped my business today on instagram stories.

Chances are, you’ll find that breaking that spending ceiling in a strategic, intentional, and mindful way will bring clients in faster afterward.




The 4 most popular forms of business education | The Successful Creative, Madison, WI business coach

When you're ready to grow your business, it can be confusing to know how to pick the right resources for your growth. You take online courses, but were hoping for group coaching, you join masterminds, but really needed private coaching. When you're investing into your business education, choosing something that's not a great fit can feel like a big waste of time and money. But how do you pick the best thing?

If you're in business for yourself, you'll probably always be on the lookout for your next source of education. What's the next step? Here's a breakdown of the most popular self-education options right now and how to know what's for you.

DIY online courses: $

An online course targets a specific problem you’re experiencing: pinterest or instagram growth, how to book more clients, building your email list, etc. The course is usually completed in a limited amount of time and gets a specific type of result, like getting 100 new followers or subscribers in 6 weeks time.

So, if you want to learn how to monetize your blog, use facebook ads, or grow your instagram account, look to an online course.

Is an online course right for me?

If you're an independent learner, hoping to learn on your own time (hellooooooo naptime hustle!), you're fairly new in business, or you're brand new to a common marketing strategy, like growing your email list, an online course is great for you! There's usually no personal guidance from the course creator, so if you get stuck, you need to figure out how to make it work on your own. 

Group coaching: $$

A group course is the next step for someone looking to learn and uplevel their business. Like an online course, group coaching usually has a specific focus, but with group coaching, there’s live coaching calls with your group leader. Often a group coaching program has modules for you to work through and the added bonus of Q&A time with your coach. It's the solution to "what if I get stuck on my course?" It's like study buddies keeping you focused and growing while you take action on your business.

Is group coaching right for me?

This is a great option for someone who wants some support and guidance as they implement. After all, isn’t it kinda awesome to check in with someone and say “am I doing this right?” If you're in group coaching, you're okay with being able to ask one question during your Q&A time and then pay attention to all the other questions coming in.

Madison, WI business coaching

Private Coaching: $$$-$$$$

Private coaching is a completely custom approach to business growth. In this case, you’re paying a higher amount for your coach to work with you one to one to get YOUR business results. This includes a LOT of interaction between you and your coach-regular calls, support between calls, strategy, connections, and implementation. You determine together the areas you need growth in, create an action plan, and meet on a regular basis to create and implement your strategies. 

How do you choose your coach?

One of the easiest ways to find a coach is to ask your friends who they’ve worked with. Look for a person who gets her clients results and who you enjoy being around. Is the person you’re considering a good listener? Does she understand your vision and mission? Does she connect with how you feel when you hit a roadblock? Does she have experience growing businesses that are based on a big vision like yours? These are important indicators that the coach you’re considering can and will lead you to the results you want in your business.

Is private coaching right for me?

This is a great fit for you if you have a big goal, like replacing your full time job, breaking 6-figures, or launching another business. This means you're probably looking to implement a bunch of strategies at once. If you got an online course for everything you needed to do to hit your big goals, you'd probably spend loads on courses and still be stuck. 

See my private coaching results here

Masterminds: $$$$

You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. And a mastermind leverages that to get you big results in your business over a long period of time. While masterminds are known for their hefty price tag, when you find the right one, they're worth every penny and then some.

What makes a Mastermind so powerful?

When you join a mastermind, you’re harnessing the power of collective thinking for your life and business. This collective thinking unlocks new strategies, impact, and reach than you could have gotten by doing it all alone.

Not only do you have a group of entrepreneurs thinking with you for your big goals and problems, but you get to take note of solutions to other people's business problems. Often, these are problems you don't personally have, but you can take away the solutions and strategies for your business-solutions you would never have gotten if you'd just been focusing on your business. 

The Science behind a mastermind

Scientifically, our minds are made of energy. Remember learning about splitting atoms in science class? What was inside the atoms?? Nothing but energy, right?? That's us. We're made of energy. And our minds vibrate at certain frequencies, kinda like radio stations. Whatever station you tune into determines the kind of music you get back.

When your mind vibrates at a high frequency, you attract in things on that frequency, like love, abundance, creativity, money, results, confidence, etc, It's kinda like tuning into a radio station and finding that you get to listen to all the songs you really love. 

So how do you increase your mind's frequency?

How do you increase your mind's frequency? By surrounding yourself with creative, supportive people, of course! I often joke that my paid friends are my best friends. They're in the trenches with me, knowing my struggles, but supporting my vision, cheering me on, and helping me untangle problems and find amazing solutions.

Masterminds in the real world

President FDR created one of the first masterminds nearly a century ago. 

Maybe you've heard of it? It's a little thing called the Cabinet! He understood that he could be a better president when surrounded by people dedicated to helping him create solutions, and chose a specific group of people to meet regularly to help him tackle our country's biggest needs.

And what kind of solutions did he create with his mastermind?

Only this little thing called The New Deal to help eradicate nationwide poverty from the Great Depression. If FDR can solve world poverty through a mastermind, what can you do?

What’s in a mastermind?

Hallmarks of a good mastermind usually include

regular group calls

look for group calls with hotseat spots for you to have the group help you on your newest plans. That's where you're harnessing some major power.

In person retreats

There's nothing quite like the connection, support, and growth of an in-person retreat. Look for a retreat in an area that feels like an escape for you. An awesome retreat will include trainings, mastermind sessions, personal growth opportunities (cooking or yoga classes, anyone?), and some fun adventures in the area. 

Special add-ons

course content, private coaching sessions, and sometimes even live events are a part of masterminds. 

I'm accepting enrollment for my mastermind, The Successful Creative Mastermind, between now and October 1, 2018. Are you interested in learning more?

Conclusion

If you're looking to grow your business, here are the most popular resource for you:

$-DIY Course

lowest cost, self-directed online course with no personal direction from a coach, usually targeting a specific skill and often a 1-2 month study committment. great for beginner-level business owners. 

$$-Group Coaching

affordable, but more than an online course. Includes an online course, plus guidance from your course creator, 6-8 week committment on average (though some are more!) medium touch point, great for beginner to intermediate entrepreneurs.

$$$-$$$$-Private Coaching

A more substantial investment. A custom plan for your business growth, with regular one-on-one calls with your coach, often 3-6 month commitment, but can be ongoing. Perfect for someone ready to take on more complex growth and implement a variety of strategies at once. Great for all levels who want to grow quickly and overcome roadblocks with direct guidance, best for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs. 

$$$$-Masterminds

High ticket investment; perfect for someone planning big growth in their business (doubling revenue, increasing from your first into multiple 6-figures, hiring a team, creating passive income, etc.) and ready for a longer term support system, often a 6-12 month commitment; Perfect for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs who can contribute strategies and ideas to other group members.

Sarah Porter Photography | Business Coaching Testimonial

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Before working with Stephanie, I was a hot mess. I was always worried that I was missing out on business.

I was grasping at straws to get any business I could and was always questioning myself and my value.

Stephanie helped me realize I had a lot of blocks around my success and my value.

I can honestly say that my time with Stephanie completely shifted my life and business as a whole.

The way she approaches helping you find your footing and take ownership of your business has paid off in my life in dividends.

My family can attest to the fact that I'm a much happier person because my mindset work in coaching.

Because of Stephanie, I launched a second business, and raised my wedding photography pricing by $2300/sale, but...

Even if there wasn't a tangible result, my investment in coaching would still have been worth it because it changed my life.

Mourning motherhood | What no one told me about becoming a new mama

Before having Ansel, my 12 week old son, Stephen and I were married for 5 years. We traveled all over the world, enjoyed lengthy conversations together whenever we wanted to. We cheered each other on in some significant personal growth journeys. We learned who we are, we bought and sold houses, we made and lost money. And at the end of each day, we'd snuggle up together and then fall asleep holding hands. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't snuggle for a few minutes and fall asleep holding hands. 

We were best friends. We were lovers. And we were people we'll never be again. 

It wasn't too long after having Ansel that the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Our life together would literally never be the same again. People often said that to me with a romanticized tone, "You're pregnant? awwwww, that just changes your whole life. You're life will never be the same!" Like it would open my eyes to so much love and goodness. 

But then I realized what they meant. My life. would NEVER. be the same. AGAIN. 

And in the early morning hours of another sleepless night, I mourned. 

I mourned the Stephanie that could exercise whenever she wanted to. I mourned the Stephanie that could hop over to a coffee shop to have a spontaneous date with her husband. I mourned the Stephanie that would spend time enjoying putting on her makeup. I mourned the Stephanie that had no one else to really think about but herself and her (completely autonomous) husband. I mourned the Stephanie that got to sleep when she wanted to and shower when she wanted to. The girl that got to go on a walk by herself anytime she cared to, could work whenever and however she wanted to. The girl completely unencumbered by nap times, childcare, and feeding schedules. And I mourned the loss of our nightly snuggle time and falling asleep holding hands. 

There's so much beauty in motherhood, there really is. But no one told me that I might mourn the loss of who I was before having a baby. That I'd never be that girl again. Never have the same marriage again. I just had no clue I'd feel that way and the weight of that loss made me feel so confused and guilty. 

"But...isn't motherhood what I've been yearning for?"

"I lost 2 babies. Shouldn't I just be grateful to have this perfect little baby in my arms finally?"

"shouldn't I feel happy?"
"isn't it bad that I feel this grief?"

"Is it wrong that I miss being able to work and wish I could do that more than be with my screaming newborn?"

The guilt of becoming a new mom can be incredibly overwhelming. I literally felt this paralyzing guilt for every move I made. As my business mentor once illustrated for me, it was like carrying around a handful of balloons. I had to shower with them, get in the car with them, go to Target with them, and go to bed holding onto them. 

Holding a handful of balloons is hard. It's awkward. It's cumbersome. I mean, have you tried to get into a car wrangling a bunch of balloons? That's what momguilt feels like. 

And honestly, the solution is so simple, I walked right over it a thousand times. 

Let the balloons go. Let them go. Release it. Watch it float away. 

And as I released the guilt, I decided a few things: 

I wasn't going to let anyone else's voices create questions or guilt in my mind. I felt loss. So I decided to first grieve.

I felt confused and hormonal. So I decided to give myself space to figure it out and not have the answers. I kept tissues close at all times and didn't wear mascara because there was a high liklihood that I'd be crying soon.

I felt disconnected. So I cried, I talked with Stephen, we shared, and we began finding new ways to reconnect in this new, completely tumultuous time. And I allowed myself to be okay with learning how to love a new human-despite what I thought, it wasn't this magical instant connection. It was intuitive, yeah. But wasn't instant. I had to learn how we relate to each other and learn how to fall in love with him too. And I did. 

I missed my work, so I grieved and journaled when I could, dreaming of a time when I was doing the sacred work that ignites my soul. I allowed myself to relax into the reality that there was enough time and would be enough time for me to do what I was called to do in my work.

I mean, I missed wearing clothes that didn't have spit up on them. So I bought new shirts, and did laundry a little more often.

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I mourned becoming a mother. No one told me I might feel that way. And if you do, know that it's okay. It's a massive life change. And you'll never be the same again. And as I said goodbye to that girl, terrified as to what life would look like moving forward, struggling with a sense of regret, and feeling so overwhelmed by all the life changes I was experiencing, I started seeing something beautiful. 

Because of this new identity, I was becoming someone more beautiful. I started seeing in myself a strength I never knew i had. I started believing in myself, caring for and loving this sacred body I have, trusting, and resting. I started letting go of resistance, trusting my intuition, and reveling in gratitude. 

And as I did, some incredible things started to happen. I started seeing clients and money flow into my life with ease. I started being present-looking my son in the eyes as I fed him instead of frantically creating a social media post. And I started seeing magic everywhere. 

Just like my son lays in his crib and cries, knowing that he'll be fed but doing nothing to bring that food to himself, I started to say what I wanted and let it come to me in childlike trust. And I started celebrating a life that felt good. 

If you're approaching motherhood, hear me when I say this: Motherhood is so different for everyone. But if you feel grief, it's okay. lean into it for a bit and ask for help. And look for the magic. You'll start seeing it everywhere. 

 

My three secrets to getting a lot of stuff done

Chances are, you're your own boss (even if this is a side gig). You're the engine that grinds this whole business thing forward and you're where the buck stops. I've gotta be real with you-sometimes that terrifies me. Anyone else feel that pressure sometimes? It used to look like these thoughts swarming around in my mind: 

  • "What if I have an off day?" 
  • "What if I'm sick?"
  • "What if what I'm doing doesn't work and I have NO clue?"

So, for a while, I wouldn't do ANYTHING. Obviously, that didn't get me too far...at least not FORWARD! It took me a year of mindset work and creating routines and habits to see how to create a week filled with intention and success. 

Here’s my secret sauce that create a work week that allows for coffee with a friend, taking care of my baby,  and still driving profits to my business.


Secret #1: Create your morning and evening routines

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Think of a garden-if you're planting vegetables, you first make the container or bed to plant your vegetables in. Your morning and evening routines are your containers! Now, what you put inside them is where you'll start seeing some magic! Because once you have the container, you can plant seeds and see growth!

 When you've got a killer morning and evening routine, all that mindset and energy work you're doing will start to take hold in your life. 

While I'm a mama and my morning and evening routines are flexible right now, here's what I'm doing for my growth:

My morning routine

I get up before my son's first morning feeding (he's sleeping through the night now) and go for a walk. During this time, I listen to nature, focus on breathing, and begin practicing gratitude.

When I get back, I make or enjoy my coffee and read for a few minutes. Honestly, my reading time is pretty brief right now-I don't have a ton of stamina here but reading stamina is like muscle-you can increase it over time. Right now, I'm happy if I stay awake to read for 5 minutes, but I look forward to when it's 6 minutes...then 7...you get it!

After reading, I take time for prayer and meditation and follow up with journaling. And of course, journaling leads to brainstorming, which is when I have my best ideas!

My Evening Routine

Why make an evening routine? Your subconscious mind controls 95% of your actions...WHOA. And it's most active while you sleep. So...if you want to shift your subconscious thinking, the best time to do it is right before it's most active! Give it some fuel! During this time, I do some specific reading, affirmations, and meditation. Then, as Stephen and I fall asleep, we share what we're grateful for.


Secret #2: Make space for your best ideas

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Even if I only do this on Monday mornings (which totally happens), I take time to journal. I write prayers, get burdens and stressors off my chest, make mind maps, lists, and write out dreams. Then I breathe for a minute. 
I know I’ve talked about journaling...like so much forever but what about the breath before the journaling? 
That’s the magic!
During that time, ideas flood my brain. Why? (tell me you already know why!) Because there's ROOM for them now!! Making SPACE is seriously when the magic happens. I've drafted numerous course outlines, coaching content ideas, and marketing plans during this deeply powerful time! That's some mega brainstorming!


Secret #3: Focus on your top 2-3 goals for the week and day

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I ask this in our private facebook group often because I ask myself every monday: "If I only got 2-3 things done this week, what are my big goals?" I focus on tasks that first serve my core purpose, second connect me to the people who need my message, and third that drive my bottom line. 

You can get a million tiny tasks done, but what if you could do 2-3 BIG things that resonated with your tribe and really shifted your business? Wouldn’t you rather have that?

How about you? What's the secret sauce to creating your intentional week?

Are blogs dead? The 3 real reasons people aren't reading your blog

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Are blogs dead?

There's a big question swirling on social media right now asking "are blogs dead?" and you may totally be feeling the pain of putting words out there and having no one read them. I mean, a few years ago, blogging was such an essential part of every online business! But now people are talking about email lists, and instagram lives and facebook groups. It's hard to even remember blogging with all the pressure to build those other platforms!

So clearly, blogs are dead, right? 

Nope. They're not at all! But, there may be a few shifts you want to make in your approach if you want your words to be read out there! Blogs are a foundational tool-like your resume for a job interview.

When people come to your site, one of the most common things people do is go from your landing page to your about page, to your contact form, and then to your blog-believe me, I've tested this nearly one hundred times! One hundred perfect strangers came to my website over the past 2 years and they all did nearly the exact same thing every time! Why? Your blog is what your audience checks out to see if you're legit-if you deliver value, and if they vibe with what you're teaching or creating.  

So, if you want more paying clients, a blog is super important...but..what if people aren't reading it? 

Here are 3 reasons people are probably not reading your blog

You didn't tell your audience about your post

One of the biggest misconceptions I see in blogging is that people believe that hitting publish means their post will step out onto a stage and stand in a spotlight in front of throngs of people, ready to analyze their every last word.

Here's the reality though: Unless you tell your audience your post exists, they're not reading it. You can hit publish and let it sit there-there's a very high chance that NO ONE will know it is there for a bit.

You want people to read your blog? Tell them when you've got fresh content and I bet you'll start seeing an increase in readership!

You aren't helping your audience

Think back to the last time you saw an article that caught your attention on Facebook. Why did you click through to read that piece on the fashion transformations of the Kardashian klan, or the 5 things every successful entrepreneur does every morning, or the 3 ways you should be using your money RIGHT NOW? What do all of those articles have in common??

Each post title promises you some kind of transformation!

If you're creating content that's meant to be looked at or just savored and enjoyed, like a blogpost of photos, you're missin' it, sister. 

People don't leave social media to consume a blog post for the sake of admiring what you've created. 

If you want people to read your blog, show them how they can better their lives somehow. They're leaving social media to read articles that promise them this one thing.

So, if you're, say, a photographer and you share posts filled with pretty photos, you're likely wearing yourself out creating work that a teeeeeeeny tiny audience sees for a teeeeeny tiny window of time (aka: the people you photographed look at your post until they've got the gallery of images and then they could care less about a blog post because they've got their product!)

You don't know who you're talking to

I don't mean this in the "find your ideal client" kind of way. That's such a big topic that I'm going to skip that for now. What I mean is this:

Are you creating blog content that Google wants to rank higher?

One of the biggest reasons I advise my clients to begin their first blog is to help attract clients through SEO ranking. Yeah, I think one of your most important audience members needs to be google! But, it's the way you create your posts that helps you build SEO. 

While there's a LOT to be said about just getting out there and doing it, creating the post, putting it out there, and not overthinking it, when you do add in strategy to your posts, Google starts to pay attention and send people your way! So, take a minute to learn what Google likes and how you can add that into your blog posts. 

And if you want help doing that, I've got some awesome resources for you at the end of this post.

Don't quit blogging yet!

So, if you have given up on your blog, I'm jumping out on the trail in front of you to say "wait! Don't give up!" These three mistakes and shifts can easily be fixed and get you out in front of your target audience. 

Want help doing that? 

Don't give up on your daydream| a letter to the dreamers

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Dear Dreamer,

I'm sitting at my desk, with a million dreams in my head, a heart on fire to help creative business owners build a business they love, and a fussy, clingy infant strapped to my chest. I'm typing, recording, journaling, and building while taking breaks to feed, burp, and sooth my crying babe. 

I've gotta be honest-motherhood is the most difficult journey I've been on! I've found my purpose and work I absolutely love. I found my baby after a long journey to each other. And now, I feel divided. I want to do so many things in my business. I have so many dreams for my family too. And figuring out how to divide my time is not easy. 

Do you ever feel like that? Like you're taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back and you split your time between your daydream and your Maybe your creative business is a side hustle and your time is limited. Maybe you're also a mamapreneur and doing the naptime hustle. 

Whatever your situation, if you feel like you're taking 2 steps forward and one step back...don't give up on your daydream! You're still moving forward and that's what counts. Keep taking the 2 steps forward. Keep running toward your dream. Because you have a sacred call on your life and a purpose to live out. That purpose will be found in both your business and your personal life. The resistance might feel overwhelming at first, but keep going. It will ease up. 

So today, I'm taking my 2 steps forward. I know just how I want my schedule to look, how I want to serve my family, clients, and audience and what it will take to get there. And in 5 years, I won't be whining about the 1 step back, I'll be celebrating the forward motion, the grit, and the alignment that brought me into my dreams.

What does your life look like in 5 years? And what will it take you to get there? Keep stepping, sweet friend. You were meant for this. 

Love, 

A fellow day-dreamer on a mission

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

When you have great content, it attracts in new leads, it establishes your expertise, it helps qualify potential clients, and it increases your perceived value. Here are my 4 favorite ways to create fresh, original content!